U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated Washington County in southwest Idaho as a primary natural disaster area due to drought, allowing the USDA Farm Service Agency to extend emergency loans to producers.

The designation also applies to contiguous counties Adams, Gem and Payette in Idaho, and Baker and Malheur in Oregon.

The emergency loans can be used to fund various recovery efforts including replacing essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganizing a farming operation or refinancing debts.

The deadline to apply is June 17. FSA will review applications based on the extent of losses, loan security the applicant has available, and repayment ability, the agency said in a news release.

FSA Idaho spokeswoman Polly Hoyt said the declaration was based on a U.S. Drought Monitor result of D2 (severe) for eight straight weeks. It was not based on fire incidence, she said. Other Drought Monitor classifications include D0 for abnormally dry, D1 for moderate, and D3 and D4 for extreme and exceptional, respectively.



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