By Victoria Metcalf
Plumas County is now a primary natural disaster area due to recent drought conditions, Plumas-Sierra County Agricultural Commissioner Willo Vieira announced to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 16.
The declaration puts local ranchers and farmers in line to apply for assistance through the Farm Service Agency in Susanville. Emergency loans are available for those who meet the criteria.
“I recently received a document from the United States Department of Agriculture via the California Department of Agriculture,” Vieira told supervisors.
Plumas is among 50 counties in California to meet the designation. Those meeting the requirements have eight months beginning March 5 when the declaration was announced, to apply for relief.
Drought data, current through Feb. 28, lists the Portola area as the hardest hit receiving 42 percent of average rainfall. Chester follows at 47 percent, the Quincy area at 48 percent and finally Vinton at 52 percent, according to information from the California Nevada River Forecast Center. Statistics on the Greenville area were not available, Vieira said. This agency is a division of the National Weather Service.
To meet the federal designation, counties must have suffered a drought intensity value during the growing season of eight or more consecutive weeks.
Those interested in learning more about eligibility requirements are invited to contact the Farm Service Agency office at (530) 257-4127.