USDA calls most of California a drought disaster area

FRESNO, Calif.—The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared that 50 of California’s 58 counties are natural disaster areas because of crop losses due to the ongoing drought.

The declaration by the department will make loans available to farmers who have suffered financial losses from the drought this year.

Farmers will be eligible for the emergency loans depending on the severity of losses and ability to repay.

The USDA says 21 counties are a part of the primary disaster area, and 29 more are designated because they are next to counties where widespread losses have occurred.

The declaration comes as California farmers struggle with a third consecutive year of drought conditions.

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