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Federal Assistance Available For Farmers

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By Brandon Redmond

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Drought, water shortages, fire and even hail damage are just some of the problems that have plagued farmers across the Magic Valley this year. But help is on the way.

"As of August 14th we actually were declared a primary designated area as well as Jerome and some of the surrounding counties. What that means is that any county bordering us is also contiguous. What that means is that the drought has gotten severe enough for a long enough period of time that the Secretary of Ag has a new process to fast track to make us a primary designated area," said Lance Phillips with the Farm Service Agency.

That is good news for farmers because financial assistance will now be available.

"We have emergency loans that immediately become available when we are declared a primary or contiguous disaster county. Those basically are to offset some of the losses due to drought for producers," said Lance Phillips.

Those loans can be from one to seven years. They are to help farmers with income losses, property and refinancing.

Drought isn't the only concern this growing season. Wildfires have also impacted farmers across the gem state.

"With the fires that have been burning not only on public and private ground, we've seen a large reduction in both wildfire and grazing habitat so the Natural Resource Conservation Service for Idaho has set aside two million dollars for our grazers on private ground to basically do some restoration. That includes fencing, pipelines, water development and helps with reseeding to get that back," said Lance Phillips.

There is a short deadline to apply for the NRCS funding. Applications must be turned in by August the 30th.