Mark Udall today welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture's decision to issue a disaster declaration for Mesa County, Montrose County and their neighboring counties related to frosts that occurred on April 7 and April 8. The declaration makes growers in those counties who experienced loss eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency loan assistance.
"Colorado's farmers and ranchers operate at the mercy of Mother Nature," Udall said. "While our agricultural community continues its work to ensure healthy crops and livestock, natural disasters are a looming threat for producers across the country. As agricultural producers face a growing threat as a result of drought and other natural disasters, they may be forced to turn to USDA disaster assistance as a last resort to keep their operations running. This underlines why the House needs to take final action to pass a sensible 2012 Farm Bill, which the Senate and the House Agriculture committee approved in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion. Colorado's farmers and ranchers are a resilient bunch, but we need the certainty and stability that a reauthorized Farm Bill can provide to ensure they have the tools to feed America."
Though the Farm Service Agency's emergency loan assistance program continues to operate under a permanent reauthorization, several other disaster programs have lapsed and require reauthorization in the 2012 Farm Bill. These programs include the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Tree Assistance Program.