Today, 597 counties in 14 states have been declared primary disaster areas by the USDA. Due to ongoing drought conditions in these regions, farmers located in these counties are now qualified for low-interest emergency loans. Tom Vilsack, the U.S. agriculture secretary, said,
As drought persists, USDA will continue to partner with producers to see them through longer-term recovery, while taking the swift actions needed to help farmers and ranchers prepare their land and operations for the upcoming planting season. I will also continue to work with Congress to encourage passage of a Food, Farm and Jobs bill that gives rural America the long-term certainty they need, including a strong and defensible safety net.