Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has declared a drought disaster declaration for most of the state of Colorado, allowing effected farmers to collected federal support and emergency loans.
For the past several weeks, Colorado has been in the grip of an ongoing drought. A warm, dry winter has transitioned into an excessively dry summer. The arid conditions, in conjunction with record high temperatures and high winds, have made farming difficult and have contributed to ongoing wildfires, which have only recently been brought under control.
Major Colorado politicians have already written to Secretary Vilsack, asking him to declare a federal emergency. Colorado Representatives Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton wrote, “Ranchers are already beginning to sell off their herd in parts of Colorado because of the lack of hay.” According to Senator Michael Bennet, “The entire state of Colorado has been severely affected by hot and dry conditions that have hampered the production of our agricultural producers.”
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has already granted Colorado farmers limited access to Conservation Reserve land, the disaster declaration will grant farmers expanded access to federal resources. Farmers in eligible counties will have eight months to apply for low interest emergency loans. In a statement by Governor John Hickenlooper, “This federal disaster declaration will give farmers and ranchers in Weld County and nearly every other part of the state much needed relief.”
To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting www.farmloans.com.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer