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Feds, state offer assistance with ag loans

Nevada News Group

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., recently designated Churchill, Lincoln, Lyon and Pershing counties as primary natural disaster areas due to drought.

These counties suffered from drought intensity value during the growing season either for eight consecutive weeks or during extreme or exceptional drought, wrote Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

According to the USDA, other Nevada counties may have already been designated as natural disaster counties if they met department requirements. The adjacent counties of Clark, Humboldt, Mineral, Storey, White Pine, Douglas, Lander, Nye, Carson City, Washoe, Elko and Lincoln counties are all considered contiguous disaster areas.

Farms in these areas may be eligible for assistance. Producers who suffered losses due to recent drought may be eligible for emergency loans administered by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Severe drought covers most of the Silver State according to last week’s report from the Western Regional Climate Center, but extreme drought has affected portions of east-central Nevada and eastern Nevada to include White Pine and Lincoln counties. Abnormally dry to moderate dry may be found in extreme Northern Nevada near the Idaho state line.

The USDA stated the disaster designation for drought in Nevada allows the FSA to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. The loans may be used for recovery needs including the replacement of essential items including the following: replacing or buying equipment or livestock, reorganizing a farming operation or the refinancing certain debts.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture is also seeking applications to receive funding through the Agriculture Adaptability and Recovery Program. The program was created by the CARES Act to relieve the stress that food and agriculture businesses face because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Nevada’s agriculture businesses have not only implemented new procedures to keep their workers and the food supply safe but have also diversified their offerings in order to meet consumer needs during this time,” said department Director Jennifer Ott.

Individual businesses and producers can get up to $15,000. The list of those eligible include agriculture employers and producers, farmers markets and food hubs, USDA approved meat processing facilities, breweries, wineries and distilleries that use at least 51 percent Nevada grown product.

Applicants must be Nevada-based and in good standing with state licensing requirements.