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Disasters

USDA announces steps to help farmers with drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help as crops in many states burn up in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says more than 1,000 counties nationwide will automatically qualify for disaster assistance if they're in a severe drought for at least eight weeks or were in extreme drought this growing season.

The department also is lowering the interest rate on emergency loans to 2.25 percent from 3.75 percent. As much as $39 million is available under the program.

In addition, the government will help farmers use part of the land set aside in a conservation program for hay or grazing since the drought is expected to reduce the amount of corn available for feed.

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Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.29% dw 4.30%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.23% dw 3.29%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.67% up 4.58%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.33% dw 3.45%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.62% up 3.52%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.38% -- 4.38%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.11% -- 4.11%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.98% dw 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.39% dw 4.40%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.39% dw 4.40%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.89% dw 2.91%  
36 M Used Graph 3.40% dw 3.43%  
48 M New Graph 3.15% dw 3.19%  
48 M Used Graph 2.90% dw 2.97%  
60 M New Graph 3.16% dw 3.22%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% up 0.34%  
1 yr Graph 0.67% dw 0.68%  
5 yr Graph 1.38% -- 1.38%