Farmers and ranchers in 24 Montana counties can apply for financial assistance, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday declared them disaster areas. The counties, all in the western half of the state, suffered from"severe" or "extreme" drought during the growing season. Jayson O’Neill with the Montana Department of Agriculture says more counties might be added as the summer wears on.
"We’re in July, typically August is our driest, hottest month for Montana. So, we’re hoping that moisture keeps continuing to hit some areas of Montana, all of Montana, because we can all use it."
The disaster declaration opens up several possibilities for financial assistance to growers affected by the drought.
Counties designated as primary disaster areas are:
- Deer Lodge
- Lewis & Clark
- Silver Bow
Areas designated as contiguous disaster counties are:
Read the governor's news release on the disaster declaration here.