USDA News Release
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Maui County and Hawaii County as major natural disaster areas as a result of the drought, making farm operators in those counties eligible for emergency loans and other assistance of the Farm Service Agency.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack announced the appointment in a letter on April 8 to Gov. David Ige. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report showed that both counties have areas that experience severe drought during farm planting.
The last day to apply for drought emergency loans is December 8, 2022, eight months from the date of declaration. Molokai farmers can contact the Maui County Farm Service Agency in Maui at (808) 871-5500 ext. 2 for more information.
“The FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of farm production losses and the operator’s security and repayment capability,” Secretary Vilsack said in the letter.
The ongoing drought has already led to a Hawaii State disaster declaration for Maui County related to axis deer, which have multiplied in Maui and Molokai and moved from their normal search grounds to deer areas. agriculture and have populations as they dry season wither their common source of food.