Drought Disaster Declared
USDA News Release
The United States Department of Agriculture has designated Maui County and Hawaii County as primary natural disaster areas as a result of drought, making farm operators in those counties eligible for emergency loans and other Farm Service Agency assistance.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack announced the designation in an April 8 letter to Gov. David Ige. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report showed both counties had areas that are experiencing extreme drought during the farm growing season.
The deadline to apply for the emergency drought loans is December 8, 2022, eight months from the date of the declaration. Molokai farmers can contact the Maui County Farm Service Agency on Maui at (808) 871-5500 ext. 2 for more information.
“FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator,” Secretary Vilsack said in the letter.
The persistent drought had already led to a State of Hawaii disaster declaration for Maui County related to axis deer, which have proliferated on Maui and Molokai and moved from their normal foraging grounds into agricultural and populated areas as they dry weather withers their usual food sources.