GATESVILLE — Coryell County farmers, ranchers and small businesses may be eligible for federal disaster relief due to the current drought, County Judge John Firth told commissioners this week.

Firth shared a letter from Gov. Rick Perry announcing that assistance is available from the federal Farm Service Agency and Small Business Administration.

Coryell is one of 157 Texas counties eligible for the Farm Service Agency aid, Perry’s letter stated, as are Bell, Lampasas, Hamilton, Bosque and McLennan.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months to apply for the relief, which includes low-interest emergency loans based on production loss and the security and repayment ability of the operator, the letter said.

Coryell and surrounding counties also are among 207 Texas counties eligible for Small Business Administration relief, including loans for businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers who have suffered production loss from the drought, according to a Small Business Administration news release.

The deadline for applying for the Small Business Administration assistance is Sept. 9, the release stated.

Contact Tim Orwig at

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