27 N.M. counties qualify for federal drought aid emergency loan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Farmers and ranchers in 27 New Mexico counties who have recorded losses due to the drought will now be able to apply for federal emergency loans.

New Mexico's congressional delegation made the announcement Wednesday.

The emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency will be capped at $500,000. The money can be used to restore or replace essential property and to pay all for part of production costs associated with the disaster.

The money can also be used for essential living expenses and to refinance certain debts.

Dry conditions have plagued much of New Mexico for the last three years. The latest federal drought map shows nearly every square mile of the state dealing with abnormally dry conditions to extreme drought.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)