Farmers, Businesses May Be Eligible for Drought Assistance

San Diego County farmers, ranchers and businesses may seek some relief from the drought through two loan programs.

Eligible farmers and ranchers of “family-sized” farming operations may apply for a U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster loan for physical damage and crop production loss that has occurred since Jan. 1, 2016. The maximum disaster loan amount is $500,000.

The deadline to apply for the disaster loan is Nov. 2.

To apply, famers need to contact the Farm Service Agency by phone at (661) 336-0967, ext. 2 or by mail at 5000 California Ave., Suite 100, Bakersfield, CA 93309.

This is not a grant, but rather a disaster loan for farmers and ranchers impacted by the drought.

The Small Business Administration also has a disaster loan program for eligible small, non-farm businesses, agricultural collectives and private non-profits. An example of a non-farm business impacted by the drought may be a farmer equipment vendor or trucking company.

This SBA loan is also for losses sustained since Jan. 1 of this year, and the deadline is Nov. 2. To apply, contact the SBA at 1-800-659-2955, or visit

Businesses can learn more about preparedness at ReadySanDiego.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact