Federal government provides aid to farmers and non-farm businesses

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Our ongoing severe drought is affecting many local farmers, who are now eligible to receive aid from the federal government, but farmers aren't the only ones who can seek a low interest loan.

Along with farmers, non-farm businesses can now seek to apply for a federal disaster loan from the Small Business Administration.

The Texas Water Development Board says the drought is only getting worse around the state.

Currently Grayson County is in a severe drought stage and local farmers say they're concerned about the upcoming harvest.

"If it doesn't rain then we don't make a crop, then we lose," farmer, Randy Watson said.

Watson says his crops have managed to survive, but it's his cattle business that's been affected the most.

"The prices are high now, not like when things and when everything weather wise was good," Watson said. "But the cost of production has doubled if not more."

Now farmers like Watson can apply for a low interest, emergency loan up to $500,000 through the USDA, to help with production costs and restoring property.

While farmers can seek assistance, businesses that sell supplies to farms are also intertwined by the drought's effects.

"The price of feed has risen in the last few years and the price of hay has gone up quite a little bit, so instead of paying the prices they just sell their animals," said Tom Morgan, owner of Denison Farm and Ranch Supply.

And because people are selling their livestock, Morgan says fewer customers are coming in to buy animal feed.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is now providing aid to help ag-related businesses by providing a similar emergency loan to help them in these difficult times.

Morgan says he's managed to keep his store afloat, but says the loans can be a great resource for other businesses.

"I think it's really good that they can do that," Morgan said. "I think it's good to get a small loan or loan to get them by for a year or two."

For more information on how to apply for the USDA or the SBA loans, you can click on these links --

USDA Farm Service Agency website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=fmlp&topic=landing

SBA Disaster Loan - http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans

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