USDA designates 5 Washington counties primary natural disaster areas for drought

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the Washington counties of Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Walla Walla, and Whitman suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for eight or more consecutive weeks or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or D4 Drought-Exceptional.

This natural disaster designation allows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend  emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or to refinance certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.

Contiguous counties that are also eligible for emergency credit in Washington state are Adams, Benton, Franklin, Lincoln, and Spokane counties. Benewah, Latah, and Nez Perce counties in Idaho and Umatilla and Wallowa counties in Oregon are also eligible. Application deadline is May 20, 2024.

The Disaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Loan Assistance Tool at can help you determine program or loan options. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local  USDA Service Center.