Hoeven: USDA Designates North Dakota Counties as Natural Disaster Areas Due to Drought

Designation Makes Resources Available for Farmers and Ranchers in Affected Areas

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 15 North Dakota counties as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. USDA also designated 11 additional counties as contiguous disaster counties. The designation comes after Hoeven and North Dakota’s Congressional Delegation successfully pressed USDA to open up emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to assist North Dakota ranchers impacted by drought conditions. 

“In response to our request, Agriculture Secretary Perdue has stepped in to help our farmers and ranchers facing drought conditions,” Hoeven said. “This declaration will free up needed emergency resources to help our Ag producers during this tough time.”

Today’s designation notes that the 15 designated North Dakota counties were experiencing drought conditions D2 and D3 on the U.S. Drought Monitor. The disaster designation opens up Farm Service Agency (FSA) resources for farm operators including FSA emergency loans. Ranchers in these counties have eight months to apply for emergency loans. Producers should work with their local FSA county office to apply for these funds.