U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA has designated California’s Imperial County as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by flooding associated with monsoonal thunderstorms from July 13 - Aug. 13, 2012.

Farmers and ranchers in neighboring Riverside and San Diego also qualify for natural disaster assistance since the counties are contiguous; as do producers in Arizona’s Yuma and La Paz counties.

These counties were designated natural disaster areas Nov. 14 making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of the actual losses.

FSA considers each loan application on its own merit, taking into account the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the emergency conservation program, federal crop insurance, and the noninsured crop disaster assistance program.

Farmers can contact their local USDA Service Center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.

Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.