Farmers in Gregg County and other counties in the region may be eligible for US Department of Agriculture emergency loans for growers recovering from natural disasters.
USDA is considering loans to producers in 23 drought-hit Texas counties including Gregg, Camp, Hopkins, Titus, Wood, Franklin, Knox, Upshur, Baylor, Harrison, Marion, Smith, Delta, Haskell, Morris, Stonewall, Foard, Hunt, Rains, Throckmorton, King, Red River and Van Zandt.
“According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered a drought intensity score of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or D4 Drought-Extraordinary during the growing season,” the USDA said in a statement.
A D1 USDA drought classification describes droughts with unusually dry conditions with short-term drought and “persistent water shortages,” according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Droughts with a D3 or D4 classification typically show signs of major to widespread crop losses and water scarcity or emergencies.
“Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including replacing essential items like equipment or livestock, restructuring a farm, or refinancing specific debt. The FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, collateral available and ability to repay,” the statement said.
Producers can apply for the USDA emergency loan through the department’s website at www.farmers.gov/protection-recovery/disaster-tool. Farmers can also get more information about emergency loans by contacting a USDA service center, which may be located at www.farmers.gov/working-with-us/service-center-locator.