Drought across the region prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to designate counties in Idaho, eastern Washington and Oregon, and even parts of Montana, as natural disaster areas.
In a release, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said he and President Obama want to ensure that “agriculture remains a bright spot in the nation’s economy” despite the drought.
The natural disaster declaration gives farmers and ranchers access to low interest emergency loans. The payments will help cover agricultural losses associated with the drought. Farmers and rancher have eight months to apply for the program.
In February, similar drought declarations were made in four of Oregon’s southernmost counties along with most of California.