Apply for aid
Opportunities are available for Oregon farmers,
ranchers and forest owners to perform voluntary conservation
activities on their privately-owned land with financial
assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
NRCS Oregon announces new sign up deadlines for
the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP
applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year,
however producers wishing to be considered for the first round
of fiscal year 2020 funding must apply by April 17.
An EQIP application form can be
downloaded on the NRCS Oregon EQIP webpage at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/or/programs
Drought declared in Klamath County
Dillemuth, Herald and News March 5, 2020
officials learned Wednesday that Oregon Gov. Kate Brown had
signed an executive order on Monday declaring drought in
The action is
due to a snow water equivalent that has dipped to 65% of
normal with a forecast of warm weather on the horizon. A
drought declaration is aimed at providing opportunities for
farmers to apply for aid to supplement losses.
Users Association and the Klamath Project Drought Response
Agency (KPDRA) are meeting publicly at 1 p.m., on Thursday
at Klamath County Fairgrounds to discuss the way forward
through what some anticipate to be similar to Spring and
producers and the public are invited to learn more about the
state of the drought, and resources available to Basin
Klamath Irrigation District board member Jerry Enman said
that the Klamath County Commissioners had requested the
declaration from the Governor in a letter dated February 25.
Commission, as well as the Supervisors in Modoc and
Siskiyou, have been on top of this and are working hard to
protect the agricultural community,” Enman said in a news
president of KWUA’s board of directors, thanked county
commissioners and others in the community who brought the
potential for drought to the Governor’s attention.
her (Gov. Brown) recognizing that we’ve got an issue down
here and it’s progressively getting worse,” Hill said.
Thursday’s public meeting will provide a consolidation of
the information regarding how much water irrigators will
have access to this Summer for their crops. The KPDRA and
USDA officials also may be on hand to help connect producers
to available resources.
“Right now, we
just felt like it was really important to provide all the
information that we have at this moment in time,” Hill said.
“Just kind of a
preview to let people know kind of where we’re at.”
Hill said due
to the projected allocation being so low, KWUA has contacted
USDA and plan to hold an additional meeting in two to three
weeks once more is known.
unless we get some precipitation, it could keep going,
getting worse,” Hill said, of the coming Summer.
“That’s why we
wanted to communicate with people early on so they can start
making the best plans they can make.”
recollection, she compares this water year to 2010, when the
Project received one third of it’s normal water allocation,
according to a March 2010 H&N story.
the lack of adequate water supply that year had a “severe
impact” on the Basin economically.
Rob Unruh is one of many who likely remembers the drought
that Summer, too.
Klamath Drought Response Agency Secretary and a KWUA board
member, is waiting to see what ground he can farm and what
land he may leave idle this Summer.
chip potatoes, alfalfa and grain in Malin, is one of many
growers concerned about the water supply that will be
available to him and other farmers this Spring and Summer.
“It’s going to
be really hard on our communities and the few family farms
that are left down here,” Unruh said.
“We’ve got to
have 130% of average to have a normal (water) year …
Something’s got to change to help farmers and species.”
He said with
ground wells and supplemental permits will work in his
favor, but that these are not available to all growers.
“If it wasn’t
for the well water up here, I’d be in bad shape,” Unruh
working hard to make sure that the crop insurance is there,
done right,” he added.
Hill said one
of the things she remembers most about the drought of 2010
is how many people tried to help one another.
“I felt like
the community really tried to work together to get through
things and I hope that that spirit – we can do that again
next year ‘cause it’s going to be rough,” Hill said.
Hill said water
users are continuing to engage the Congressional Delegation
and the Trump administration to continue to look at how
water is managed in the Klamath Reclamation Project, and
ensuring resources are being managed in the most effective
through it, but this one I don’t think is going to be
pretty,” Hill said.
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