As Southwest Colorado’s drought conditions continue to increase during a warm, dry winter, help is in sight for area ranchers and farmers.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued contiguous disaster designations for 21 of Colorado’s 64 counties, including Archuleta, La Plata and Montezuma counties. The designation means farmers and ranchers in those counties are eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
“Excessively dry conditions continue to plague our producers around the state, causing them financial and operational hardships,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D.-Colo., said in a news release. “With these disaster designations, farmers and ranchers will be able to access critical assistance to help them deal with any losses to crops or livestock.”
Ranchers and farmers in counties designated as either primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for Farm Service Agency emergency loans. They have eight months from the date of designation, Feb. 4, to apply.
Local FSA offices can provide additional information.