Disaster Areas Expand & New Forecast
The Department of Agriculture has designated Boise and Gem counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in the neighboring counties in Idaho also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. All counties were designated natural disaster areas on Sep. 2, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
Recent rain across the northwest has brought a small amount of hope to not only firefighters but farmers as well but a new forecast for the current El Nino may not bring much relief according to meteorologist, Brad Rippey.
RIPPEY: We don't expect much rain or snow in states like Washington, Oregon and Idaho though the October to April wet season and that could be really catastrophic.
Southern and central California may get rain but Rippey says it might be too much of a good thing.
RIPPEY: It might be too much of a good thing, it's very typical with a strong El Nino to see flooding rains at times during the cold season.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.