Six New Mexico counties have been declared eligible for disaster assistance due to continuing drought.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. announced the counties are eligible due to their proximity to Texas counties, which were declared disaster areas.
As a result of the declaration, farmers and ranchers in Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Otero, Quay, and Roosevelt counties are now eligible to be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“These loans help farmers and ranchers who have been affected by drought
get back on their feet,” Bingaman said.
In order to be eligible for the loan a farmer or rancher must have lost 30 percent of their stock or crop due to the drought, said John R. Ledingham, farm loan manager, USDA.
Ledingham said the losses had to occur in 2009.
Quay and Roosevelt farmers and ranchers can apply for the low interests (3 and 3/4 percent) loans until Dec. 14, Ledingham said.
“To apply for the loan the farmer or rancher's existing lender must not be willing to issue a loan to cover their losses,” Ledingham said.