Kleberg, San Patricio, Aransas, Brooks, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Live Oak and Nueces counties were declared eligible for Farm Service Agency disaster emergency loans Aug. 14.

Generally, that means that farmers who have lost at least 30 percent of their production due to damages and losses caused by drought on Jan. 1, 2008 and continuing are eligible for FSA loans. Proceeds from crop insurance are taken into account when determining eligibility.

FSA farm loan manager Edmundo Garza is urging farmers interested in receiving an emergency loan to get their applications into FSA as soon as possible.

"We hope farmers will get their applications in early rather than waiting until near the deadline, which is April 14, 2009," Garza said. "The longer they wait, the more chance there is for long delays. If the applications come in early, we can avoid backlogs and speed up the process."

The FSA office is at 2287 N. Texas Blvd., Suite 2 in Alice. The telephone number is (361) 668-8361, Ext. 2.