Farmers in Gregg County and other counties in the region may be eligible for emergency loans from the US Department of Agriculture for producers recovering from natural disasters.
USDA is considering loans for growers in 23 drought-stricken Texas counties including Gregg, Camp, Hopkins, Titus, Wood, Franklin, Knox, Upshur, Baylor, Harrison, Marion, Smith, Delta, Haskell, Morris, Stonewall, Foard, Hunt, Rains, Throckmorton, King, Red River and Van Zandt.
“According to the US Drought Monitor, these counties suffered a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 consecutive weeks or more or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or D4 Drought-Exceptional . ”the USDA said in a statement.
A USDA D1 drought classification describes droughts with unusually dry conditions with short-term drought and “persistent water deficits,” according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Droughts classified as D3 or D4 generally show signs of severe to widespread crop losses and water shortages or emergencies.
“Emergency loans can be used to meet a variety of recovery needs, including replacing essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganizing a farm or refinancing certain debts. The FSA will review loans based on the extent of losses, available collateral, and repayment capacity. The statement said.
Growers can apply for the USDA Emergency Loan through the department’s website at www.farmers.gov/protection-recovery/disaster-tool. Farmers can also find more information on emergency loans by contacting a USDA service center, which can be located at www.farmers.gov/working-with-us/service-center- locator.