Late 2000 declaration makes producers eligible for loans AGRICULTURE SECRETARY Dan Glickman last month declared the entire State of Texas as an agriculture disaster area, making producers eligible for USDA emergency farm loans because of losses caused by drought, excessive heat, and other disasters that occurred during 2000.

"The excessive heat and drought have made a devastating year for farmers in Texas and all over the south," said Glickman. "USDA is working to help farmers in Texas and other states during these difficult times."

Also eligible, because they are contiguous, are counties in adjacent states:

Curry, Eddy, Otero, Roosevelt, Dona Ana, Lea, and Quay Counties in New Mexico are eligible due to drought and excessive heat that occurred from Jan. 1, 2000, and continuing.

Beauregard, Calcasieu, Sabine, and Vernon Parishes in Louisiana are eligible due to drought that occurred from Jan. 1, 2000, and continuing; and due to fire that occurred from Sept. 1 through Sept. 7.

All other contiguous counties already have been designated or named for the same disasters.

The designation makes all qualified family-sized farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of this declaration to apply for the 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, repayment ability, and other eligibility requirements.

FSA has a variety of programs available, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. Interested farmers may contact their local FSA offices for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures.

Additional information is also available online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/disaster/assistancel.htm