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Drought leads to disaster declarations

1/16/2014

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Thirty-seven Kansas counties received disaster declarations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, the result of the continuing drought.

Much of northwest Kansas was included in the disaster declaration, including Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Ness, Norton, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Rush, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, Trego and Wallace counties. Eight additional counties, including, Osborne, Smith and Russell, are eligible because they are contiguous to counties receiving the declaration.

Virtually all of the remaining counties were in southwest Kansas.

The disaster declaration announcement was made by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on agriculture. He was joined by Sen. Jery Moran, R-Kan., in making the announcement.

"Kansas continues to face one of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl," Roberts said. "The lack of rainfall has had a devastating impact on our crops, and our ranchers are facing severe hardship due to a lack of available feed caused by the drought. I applaud the USDA for continuing to recognize this hardship, and I am pleased that Kansans can tap into vital USDA resources and rebuild their farms, ranches and communities."

These counties now will be eligible for important disaster programs, such as the emergency loan program administrated by the Farm Service Agency.