Hawaii Drought Earns Disaster Area Designation

December 15, 2009

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Maui County and the Big Island primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused this year by continuing drought.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Friday in a Washington news release. He says the action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses.

The designation came Wednesday, making all qualified farm operators in the two counties eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

The farmers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

The agency will consider each loan application, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

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