Agriculture

Farmers, Businesses May Be Eligible for Drought Assistance

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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, disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit sba.gov/disaster.

Businesses can learn more about preparedness at ReadySanDiego.

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