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Federal government approves freeze disaster for several Colorado counties

DENVER — Thursday, July 26, 2012 — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack notified Gov. John Hickenlooper today that eight of the state’s counties qualify for federal disaster relief because of freeze conditions.


“The Department of Agriculture has reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports and has determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial disaster designation,” a letter from Vilsack says. “Therefore, I am designating Mesa and Montrose counties as primary natural disaster areas.”


Vilsack also named Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Ouray, Pitkin and San Miguel counties as contiguous disaster counties.


Hickenlooper sent a letter in June to Vilsack seeking the freeze assistance.


The federal assistance approved today includes Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available and repayment ability.


Local FSA offices can provide farmers with more information.