Gov. Abbott requests USDA disaster designation for Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties
In response to severe winter weather that has impacted the state, Gov. Greg Abbott has requested a USDA disaster designation for Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties to make federal assistance, such as emergency loans, available to agricultural producers who have suffered losses in designated counties.
READ THE FULL LETTER HERE.
The federal assistance would also be available in counties that are contiguous to a designated county, according to a Friday news release from the governor’s office.
According to a letter from Gov. Abbott to USDA Acting Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Shea, early estimates made by Texas Citrus Mutual show Texas citrus sustained approximately $305.0 million loss to the crop in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties. Total damage assessments are still being calculated.
"Texas agricultural producers continue to be greatly affected by the severe ice and freezing temperatures; these weather conditions have substantially affected producers and caused severe production losses," the letter reads. “Total damage assessments are still being calculated, but daily agriculture operations across the entire state have been slowed both by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and by loss of electricity and continued freezing temperatures caused by severe winter weather."
As additional production losses in the state are assessed, the governor will also request that the USDA extend its disaster designation to additional counties in Texas.
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