From: Reuters
Published August 24, 2007 07:44 PM

USDA Declares Colorado, Iowa and Maryland Disaster Areas In 3 States

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Agriculture Department declared 32 counties in Colorado, Iowa and Maryland as primary disaster areas on Friday, a move that will make farmers eligible for low-interest emergency loans.


USDA said Delta County, Colorado, was designated a natural primary disaster area because of losses caused by a freeze that occurred in April. Rio Blanco County, Colorado, also was impacted by frost and freezing temperatures in June and drought that is ongoing since May.


USDA said Audubon, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Monona, Pottawattamie, Polk and Tama counties in Iowa had a freeze in early April.


Separately, 22 Maryland counties were declared disaster areas because of drought and excessive heat that has occurred since June.


Additional counties in Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia are eligible for assistance because they are close to the primary disaster areas.


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The USDA's Farm Service Agency said farmers have eight months to apply for emergency loans to help cover part of the financial loss of their crops.


Each loan application will be reviewed based on the extent of losses and the ability to repay the loan, the agency said.


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