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Archuleta among counties eligible for disaster assistance

Senator Mark Udall has announced that agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers in many southern Colorado counties are eligible for drought- and freeze-related emergency assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA expanded its drought disaster designation to include more southeastern counties and added new counties in the San Luis Valley and southwestern area also affected by drought. Eight counties are also eligible for freeze-related assistance.

“I’m grateful the USDA is making assistance available to more affected Colorado farmers and ranchers,” Udall said. “This will help our agricultural producers offset some of the heavy losses they’ve experienced because of the drought and spring freezes.”

Counties designated agricultural disaster areas due to drought this year: Bent, Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Prowers and Pueblo counties, including surrounding Alamosa, Baca, Cheyenne, Costilla, Crowley, El Paso, Gunnison, Lake, Lincoln, Otero, Park, Pitkin, Saguache and Teller counties.

Because of their proximity to and possible losses due to primary drought designations in New Mexico, Archuleta, Baca, Conejos, Costilla and Las Animas counties also became eligible for drought-related assistance.

Additional resources were made available to counties affected by the spring freezes that occurred April 28 through May 1:

Fremont County was designated as a primary county, but eligibility extends to the surrounding counties of Chaffee, Custer, El Paso, Park, Pueblo, Saguache and Teller.

The USDA had previously made disaster designations on several of these counties; it increased the number of eligible counties to help more people affected by ongoing drought conditions. Producers in both primary and surrounding counties are eligible for financial help to offset losses due to the drought and freeze through Farm Service Agency emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program. Local FSA offices can provide further information.

Contact Tara Trujillo or Jennifer Talhelm at (202) 224-4334.

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