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Farmers and Ranchers in Carbon and Emery Counties who have been impacted by the drought are being encouraged to apply for federal farm program benefits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Immediate disaster assistance is being offered through the Emery/Carbon Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Castle Dale. Drought  relief is available to livestock producers based on the drought intensity and livestock feed needs.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, conditions in all of Utah are at best, abnormally dry and at worst, exceptionally dry.

Abnormally dry—used for areas showing dryness but not yet in drought—exists in a narrow swath of extreme northern Utah.

At the other end of the state, the other end of the scale—exceptional drought—exists in the southeast corner of San Juan County.

In between, both geographically and in drought intensity, lies Carbon and Emery counties, with areas of severe drought and extreme drought.

Most of Carbon County is categorized as (D2) severe drought, while most of Emery County is experiencing (D3) extreme drought.  

Emery/Carbon FSA Executive Director Mistie Christiansen noted, “Most of our are programs are  based off the Drought Monitor and you have to hit the red color, (D3) within the growing season before it’s triggered.”

Any part of the county that is catagorized as such qualifies the whole county for drought relief.

Federal farm program benefits may be available to help eligible producers recover from drought. FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts during drought or similar qualifying natural disasters. Available programs and loans include:

• Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

• Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program.

• Livestock Forage Disaster Program.

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought. Producers must provide a completed application for payment and required supporting documentation to their FSA office within 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year.

Christiansen said, “We have had a pretty good response but I would still say that less than 70 percent of the farmers out there with livestock have come in and applied. We still have quite a few that need to come & see us.”

To comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Emery/Carbon FSA office to file an adequate crop certification report. The office is located at 1090 North DesBee Dove Road in Castle Dale.

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