KALISPELL — The USDA has designated Flathead and Lincoln counties as primary natural disaster areas, opening the door for farmers to apply for emergency loans.
Last week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte sent a request to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting 11 Montana counties be placed as drought disaster areas.
In the Secretary's letter to Giaforte Monday, he said the USDA will designate Flathead and Lincoln counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought.
A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties eligible to be considered for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loan assistance, provided eligibility requirements are met.
Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.
Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information.