WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Pat Roberts, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Senator Jerry Moran, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 21 counties in Kansas as natural disaster areas due to production losses caused by severe drought situations, wildfires, and high winds since the beginning of the year.
“Kansas is facing one of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl days,” said Roberts. “The lack of rainfall has had a devastating impact on the wheat crop in Kansas, and many farms are facing total crop loss. Ranchers in Kansas are also facing severe hardship due to a lack of available feed caused by the drought. I applaud the USDA for acting quickly, and I am pleased that Kansans can now tap into vital USDA resources and begin to rebuild their farms, ranches and communities.”
“I am grateful Secretary Vilsack responded to our appeals for assistance,” Moran said. “During a time when producers are experiencing the devastating results of these acts of God, we did everything possible to ensure the USDA’s decision affecting their operations was made promptly. Farmers and ranchers in the affected counties are now eligible for USDA emergency loans, which will enable agricultural operations to continue across our state, in spite of the exceedingly dry conditions.”
USDA designated Finney, Gove, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Wallace and Wichita Counties as disaster counties.
Farmers and ranchers in the following 13 counties in Kansas also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous: Cheyenne, Clark, Decatur, Ellis, Ford, Graham, Gray, Hodgeman, Norton, Pawnee, Rawlins, Rush, and Trego.
These counties will now be eligible for important disaster programs, such as the emergency loan program administrated by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. These programs will help the farmers and ranchers of Kansas make it through one of the most difficult growing seasons on record.
Affected farmers should contact their local FSA office for more information: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ks/.