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The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to designate counties as disaster areas in response to a natural disaster such as a drought. The benefit of a secretarial designation is that farmers in designated localities that have suffered significant crop losses are eligible to apply for low interest federal emergency loans through USDA. These federal loans provide some help to farmers, but farmers, for the most part, must rely on crop insurance to provide any payments for lost income.

Requests for disaster designation should be directed to your local Farm Service Agency office.  Click here for office locations.

For additional information on the USDA emergency disaster designation and declaration process, please click here.

Important Links:

Photo of drought conditions in VA.U.S. Drought Monitor

Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force - Drought Status Summary Report

Drought and Drought Assistance

VDACS Hay Clearing House
Farmers who need hay and farmers who have hay to sell

USDA Virginia crop/weather report
Statewide crop conditions and harvest progress with comparisons to previous week.

USDA Drought Resources

Farm Service Agency

Emergency farm loans - Click here for information on emergency loans due to drought conditions
Local offices - Click here for a location where eligible farmers can apply for low-interest loans

Ongoing Disaster Assistance Programs for Agricultural Producers - FSA offers farmers and ranchers various types of disaster aid to facilitate recovery from losses caused by drought, flood, freeze, tornadoes, hurricane, and other natural events.

USDA Hay Net Ad Service - electronic Hay Net Ad Service (eHayNet) is an Internet-based service allowing farmers and ranchers to share 'Need Hay' ads and 'Have Hay' ads online.

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