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September 17, 2019

Skagit County among Four Washington Counties Designated As a Natural Disaster Area by USDA

SKAGIT COUNTY, WA – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated four Washington counties as primary natural disaster areas due to extreme drought during the 2019 growing season. Producers in Skagit, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties who suffered losses due to recent drought may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered from a significant drought intensity value during the 2019 growing season for 8 or more consecutive weeks.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SKAGIT COUNTY FARMERS?

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend emergency credit to Skagit County producers recovering from drought. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including the replacement of essential items such as equipment, livestock, and the reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 29, 2020.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Skagit County farmers may contact the local USDA service center in Mount Vernon, WA for additional information on eligibility requirements and loan application procedures:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Mount Vernon Office
360-428-7684 Ext. 2