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USDA Declares Drought Disaster Affecting Hawai‘i County

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A move by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow Big Island farmers being affected by drought to seek federal assistance.

Tom Vilsack

According to a news release from the USDA, Hawai‘i County has been designated as a primary natural disaster area as a result of drought, making farm operators on the Big Island eligible for emergency loans and other Farm Service Agency assistance.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack announced the designation in letter to Gov. David Ige last week. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report showed the county had areas that are experiencing extreme drought during the growing season.

“(Farm Service Agency) 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,” Vilsack said in a portion of the letter included in the news release.

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The deadline to apply for emergency drought loans is Dec. 8. Farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more information about available assistance.

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