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Back in early March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared 14 Nevada counties, including Churchill, as “disaster areas” due to ongoing drought conditions.
Locally, TCID announced reductions in their water deliveries to 70 percent of normal. These two factors combined may have some farmers and agriculture producers concerned about their livelihood.
Two programs are available to aid farmers in getting through this time.
Being declared a disaster area allows counties to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration (March 5, 2021) to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator.
The Emergency Conservation Program helps farmers and ranchers to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters and to help put in place methods for water conservation during severe drought.
The Livestock Forage Program provides payments to eligible livestock owners and contract growers who have covered livestock and produce grazed forage crop acreage or certain crops planted specifically for grazing that have suffered a loss of grazed forage due to a qualifying drought.
Both these programs are administered by the Farm Service Agency which can be reached locally by calling (775)423-5124, extension 2.