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Gov. Hickenlooper seeks additional federal drought assistance

Gov. Hickenlooper seeks additional federal drought assistance Monday, June 27, 2011 -- Gov. John Hickenlooper sent a letter today to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting drought assistance for nine additional counties.


“As the drought situation in southern Colorado continues to worsen, I am forced to request secretarial disaster designation for nine additional counties,” the governor’s letter said.


Bent, Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Prowers and Pueblo counties have asked Hickenlooper to seek the federal assistance and be declared primary drought disaster areas. The declaration, if approved, would allow farmers and ranchers to apply for emergency loans if they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.


The letter also requests disaster assistance for apple producers in Fremont County which lost 60 percent of their crop due to freezes occurring April 28 through May 1, 2011.


Also today, Secretary Vilsack approved Gov. Hickenlooper’s June 16 request for drought disaster relief for Baca, Crowley and Otero counties.