It is now official; the entire state is in the grip of a summer-long drought.
The Secretary of Agriculture has included every Nebraska county in his drought disaster declaration.
Federal disaster declarations included western Nebraska, began creeping over the central and northeastern part of the state and now have covered all parts of the state, including southeast Nebraska. All parts of the state now are eligible for federal disaster assistance.
A current Nebraska map listing the approved counties is available on the Nebraska FSA website by clicking here. The website also provides links to the USDA Drought page and the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Nebraska Farm Service Agency Director Dan Steinkruger struggles to remember a year in which every county was considered in official drought condition.
“Certainly, this is a year where we have drought statewide and over a large area of the Midwest that I do not recall happening in my career,” Steinkruger says.
The USDA has also announced that the Risk Management Agency (RMA), which manages the crop insurance program, will make changes to allow haying and grazing of cover crops this fall. Farmers would be able to plant a cover crop without endangering crop insurance coverage next year.
Assistance from USDA programs is available from any of the 71 Nebraska USDA Service Centers. Contact your local office for additional information.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]