California: 12 Counties Declared Natural Disaster Areas

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 12 counties in California as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a drought that occurred during the period of Jan. 2, 2015, and continuing. Those counties are:


    Fresno Madera Santa Barbara Trinity
    Kern Marin Santa Clara Tulare
    Kings San Benito Sonoma Ventura


    “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 the following counties in California also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:


    Alameda Merced San Mateo
    Humboldt Mono Santa Cruz
    Inyo Monterey Shasta
    Lake Napa Siskiyou
    Los Angeles San Bernardino Stanislaus
    Mariposa San Francisco Tehama
    Mendocino San Luis Obispo Tuolumne


    All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Dec. 23, 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.

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