Washington counties declared drought disaster areas

On April 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated nine Washington counties as primary natural disaster areas. Those counties are Adams, Asotin, Benton, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Walla Walla and Yakima counties.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties 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 USDA’s 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 the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. The application deadline is Dec. 22, 2022.

The counties contiguous to these primary natural disaster areas are also eligible for emergency credit. Those counties are Chelan, Garfield, Lincoln, Skamania, Columbia, King, Okanogan, Whitman, Douglas, Lewis and Pierce counties in Washington; Nez Perce County in Idaho; and Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Wallowa and Wasco counties in Oregon.

To file a notice of loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local USDA Service Center.