Some Idaho producers may be eligible for emergency loans

IDAHO (KMVT/KSVT) The designation of several Idaho counties as natural disaster areas could have an impact on Idaho farmers.

Last month, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated several Idaho counties as primary disaster areas due to a recent drought.

"If you suffered a loss due to the declaration, you may be eligible for an emergency loan and what you'll need to do is contact your local farm service agency," said Beth Sant, a farm loan manager.

Doug Burk, owner of Burk's Tractor, thinks there's evidence of a drought in southern Idaho.

"First thought that come to my mind is that we've had a short water year, and what I mean by that is we're driven by irrigation," Burk said.

"Because of the drought it affected their crop production to the point they were not able to generate the income to meet the needs of the operation," Sant said.

This program is one way farmers who could be affected by natural disasters can get back to being productive.

"The money can be used to replace essential property, pay all or part of production cost associated with the disaster, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation and refinance some debts," Sant listed.

This is an example of government and the agricultural industry working together.

"The government of Idaho is very in-tune with the agriculture part," Burk said. "A lot of state legislators, senators, and people in the government are former farmers."

According to the Department of Agriculture the deadline for farmers to apply for these emergency loans is July 8, 2019.

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