The Agriculture Department has to date designated 213 of Texas’ counties directly affected by drought as disaster areas, and the remaining 41 are also qualified for assistance because they are contiguous. Thirty-two counties in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico have also received the designation because they are adjacent to Texas counties.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says many producers have lost their entire crop because of drought and wildfires, and added “President Obama and I want these farmers and ranchers to know that we will support them through the recovery process and help them once again become productive suppliers of food, fiber and fuel that keep America prospering… This designation will help provide that support.”
Ranchers and farmers must qualify for the loans that will come from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Due to wildfires out of control in March, the SBA had already stepped up offering disaster loans and economic injury loans to Texas residents in many counties. “Low-interest Federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by the fires,” said Calvin Davis, SBA’s Lubbock District Director.
A business plan writer can help prepare a concrete application for an SBA loan, and help farmers and small businesses alike recover from the Texas drought. Interest rates can be as low as 2.563 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for private, non profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant’s financial condition.