Washington governor seeks presidential assistance for drought-stricken producers

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has sent a letter to President Biden asking for additional federal assistance for the Evergreen State’s producers. The letter says, in part:

“Unfortunately, in addition to the ongoing drought and low soil moisture problems, an extreme heat wave hit the state at the end of June. High temperature records were set across the state, topping out at 117 degrees in Eastern Washington and 110 degrees in Western Washington. Many of the producers who suffered heat-related impacts were either located in counties not covered by the drought declarations, experienced losses not covered by FSA drought assistance programs, or both.

“Reports across the state gathered to date indicate that Washington’s beef cattle, dairy products, forage crops, grain crops, shellfish, berry crops, tree fruit and potentially other crops experienced extreme heat impacts to product quality and yield. These extreme heat impacts are likely to be severe, so I believe additional federal assistance will be needed beyond what can be offered through USDA’s drought relief programs.”

As the drought deepens over the region, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers has been advocating at both the state and federal level for resources to help wheat growers maintain their family farms despite what has the potential to be significant crop and/or quality losses.