Imperial County designated natural disaster area from drought


WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to a request from Jacqueline Johnson, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in California, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Imperial County as a primary natural disaster area due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought.

Farmers and ranchers in Riverside and San Diego counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because the counties are contiguous.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas March 3, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are met.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

According to a press release, FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.


  1. But our water comes from the Colorado River and there hasn’t been a shortage from there…

    Riverside and San Diego Counties I understand, but the Imperial Valley?!?

    • According to someone in the know, the Colorado Rivershed has been under the same drought conditions as California. All you need to do is go online and check the water levels behind Parker Dam and Boulder Dam. Having lived in the Valley and been involved in the ag business but not as a grower, I’m having a little difficulty understanding the drought affect on the Valley. The worst thing that can happen here has been unplanned irrigation from the sky. It screws up the germination schedules for vegetable crops which fields have been seeded well in advance, which means it screws up their harvesting schedules.
      Given the fact that so much land has been leased by a few farmers to solar energy companies at prices that border on lottery jackpot winnings so THAT farmer will NEVER have to worry about farming again, and marginal land that has been fallowed, it is surprising that agriculture in the Imperial Valley qualifies as a “natural” disaster area and the farmers are able to be given money supplied by the tax payers of the county and the state.

      • Oh yeah.
        As a follow up I have seen no news reports how this so called atmospheric river has affected the Rocky Mountains.

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