Montrose County due disaster relief
The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Montrose County a natural disaster area Tuesday because of crop losses from frost, freezing temperatures and high winds last spring.
The designation was requested by Gov. Bill Ritter earlier this month because the county lost nearly all of its cherry crop because of the bad weather.
In announcing the designation, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said it also applies to all “contiguous” counties because they, too, were impacted by those winds and cold temperatures.
That includes Mesa, Delta, Gunnison, Ouray and San Miguel counties in Colorado, and Grand and San Juan counties in Utah.
The designation means farm operations in the eight counties are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Those operations have eight months to apply for the loans, but they must prove actual crop losses to get them.