USDA offers relief to drought-stricken area farmers

USDA offers relief to drought-stricken area farmers

Amarillo, TX - Almost every county in the Panhandle is designated as a natural disaster area by the United States Department of Agriculture because of on-going drought conditions.

This means area farmers and ranchers in thirty Panhandle counties are eligible to receive low-interest, emergency loans from the USDA in 2014.

The federal agency said it is offering these loans to help during the difficult time of prolonged drought, and wants to ensure agriculture remains a successful part of the economy. The local Farm Service Agency for Potter County said the emergency loan can be used in a variety of ways to help ease some of the drought's burden.

"The emergency loan can help either by furnishing family living expenses, farm operating expenses, to refinance some debts they may have not been able to make payments on, or pay for any and all costs associated with the disaster," said FSA representative Beth Batenhorst.

The maximum amount for the emergency loan is $500,000. A total of 108 counties across Texas are designated as natural disaster areas. Those areas are also in ten other states, including New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10