Last week USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack designated Clark and Jefferson Counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas due to recent drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor these counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of: (1) D2 Severe Drought for 8 or more consecutive weeks; or (2) D3 Extreme Drought or D4 Exceptional Drought.
In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Beaverhead County has been named as a contiguous disaster area.
A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those in counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible 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 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.
More information is available by contacting the Beaverhead County FSA office located in Dillon.