BOZEMAN, Montana- The USDA has designated three Montana Counties as "Primary Natural Disaster Areas," making those counties and seven neighboring counties eligible for drought assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA emergency loans can be used to meet various needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or to refinance certain debts.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Glacier, Pondera and Lake counties suffered from severe or extreme dought conditions for eight weeks during the growing season. The designation makes producers in Chouteau, Flathead, Liberty, Missoula, Sanders, Teton and Toole counties eligible for assistance, as well.

The deadline to apply for an emergency loan is February 26, 2024. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.

On, the Disaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Loan Assistance Tool can help you determine program or loan options. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local  USDA Service Center.

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