USDA Designates 55 Counties in California as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

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CA_masthead_logoThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 55 counties in California as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought. Those counties are:

Alameda Lake Placer Sierra
Alpine Lassen Plumas Siskiyou
Amador Los Angeles Riverside Solano
Butte Madera Sacramento Sonoma
Calaveras Marin San Benito Stanislaus
Colusa Mariposa San Bernadino Sutter
Contra Costa Mendocino San Diego Tehama
El Dorado Merced San Joaquin Trinity
Fresno Modoc San Luis Obispo Tulare
Glenn Mono San Mateo Tuolumne
Humboldt Monterey Santa Barbara Ventura
Inyo Napa Santa Clara Yolo
Kern Nevada Santa Cruz Yuba
Kings Orange Shasta

“Our hearts go out to those California farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling California producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”
Farmers and ranchers in Del Norte, Imperial and San Francisco counties in California also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties and city in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

La Paz and Mohave

Carson City, Clark, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and Washoe

Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Feb. 4, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at

FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at via the “Newsroom” link.