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Nevada's Storey County Now A Primary Natural Disaster AreaNevada's Storey County Now A Primary Natural Disaster Area

USDA declaration will help farmers with loans.

July 31, 2013

2 Min Read

Storey County, Nev., is now a primary natural disaster area due to losses caused by drought.

The USDA declared the action for farmers in Lyon, Washoe and Carson City counties as well, since they are contiguous to Storey. Farmers and ranchers in all these areas qualify for low-interest government loans to help them recover, and can also benefit from other provisions of the declaration.

"Our hearts go out to those Nevada farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters," said USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack. "President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy by sustaining the success of America's farmers and ranchers and rural communities through these difficult times.

"We're telling Nevada producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."

Actions taken by USDA to provide assistance to produces impacted by the drought include:

•Extended emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres, freeing up 2.8million aces and as much as $200 million in forage and feed for ranchers during a challenging time.

•Purchase of $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish for federal food nutrition programs, including food banks, to help relieve pressure on livestock operations.

•Reduction of the emergency loan rate form 3.75% to 2.25%, as well as making emergency loans earlier.

•Allowing haying and grazing of cover crops without impacting the insurability of planted 2013  spring crops.

•Authorization of $16 million in existing funds from the Wildlife Habitat  Incentive Program and •Environmental Quality Incentives Program to target drought losses.

•Transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program to help producers rehabilitate farm land damaged by drought.

•Authorization of haying and grazing of Wetlands Reserve Program easement areas.

•Lowering penalties on CRP acres used for emergency haying and grazing from 25% to 1%.

•Simplification of the Secretarial disaster designation process and reduce the time it takes to designate  counties affected by disasters by 40%.

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