Newhouse praises USDA for drought declaration

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Yesterday, Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside praised the Obama administration for declaring Central Washington a natural disaster area in the wake of current drought conditions.

The declaration was made by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack. The USDA designation allows farmers to be considered for eligibility for additional federal disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans.

Newhouse, a Republican, is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

“I am encouraged by Secretary Vilsack’s declaration recognizing the historic drought facing agricultural producers in Central Washington,” said Newhouse. “USDA’s declaration is critical for ensuring that our agricultural producers are considered for the assistance they need, including access to low-interest emergency loans and Farm Service Agency assistance.”

Counties included in the federal disaster designation include Yakima, as well as Adams, Benton, Franklin, Grant and Walla Walla.

Okanogan and Douglas counties have been labeled “contiguous disaster counties,” and are also eligible for assistance.

Potentially eligible producers can contact their local Farm Service Agency office to verify loan eligibility, determine drought relief eligibility under other USDA programs, and seek information about crop insurance, which is USDA’s primary drought response tool.


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