Loudoun County farmers are eligible to apply for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) due to drought conditions during this year’s growing season.
The USDA has declared Loudoun and six other Virginia counties to be “drought designation areas,” which allows the FSA to offer emergency loans and other assistance to farmers affected by the drought.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans. In addition to Loudoun, farmers in Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Rappahanock, Shenandoah and Warren counties are eligible to apply for assistance as are contiguous counties in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.
Earlier this year, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Drought Monitoring Task Force issued a Drought Watch for northern Virginia. The task force’s most recent report indicates that surface and groundwater indicators are at near record lows at some stations within the region.
Officials encourage all residents to protect water supplies by minimizing non-essential water use through voluntary conservation actions, such as limiting the length of showers, using an automatic dishwasher only when it’s a full load and checking pipes for leaks.
More information about the emergency drought assistance available for local farmers is available from the Virginia State Office of the Farm Service Agency, which has an office in Warrenton, and Virginia Cooperative Extension – Loudoun.
More information on how to save water at home is available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
More information about the current hydrological conditions in Loudoun, including streamflow and groundwater information, can be found at loudoun.gov/WaterData.
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