The USDA has approved a disaster declaration this morning for counties in northwest Oklahoma that are suffering from severe drought.
Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, announced the move and said it would provide immediate relief for livestock producers in the stricken area.
From Lucas’ office:
“These counties in Oklahoma are suffering through one of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl. Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our American economy and USDA has made the right decision to assist them by granting these designations.”
A federal disaster declaration will make farmers and ranchers in these counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency. In addition, farmers and ranchers who are forced to liquidate their livestock will be allowed to postpone payment on the capital gains from the forced sale, with a potential to negate all payment due.
The counties in Oklahoma given primary disaster designation are Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Ellis, Roger Mills, Dewey and Woods counties. The counties in Oklahoma given contiguous disaster designation are Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Custer and Major Counties.