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USDA: 7 Utah counties in primary natural disaster areas due to dry conditions

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Posted at 10:24 PM, Feb 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-11 00:24:05-05

WILLARD, Utah -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated seven counties in Utah as Primary Natural Disaster areas due to dry conditions.

“When weather conditions and soil conditions get to a certain point it triggers what’s called a natural disaster declaration related to agriculture,” said Larry Lewis with USDA.

In the past week, the USDA has designated Box Elder, Juab, Kane, Millard, Tooele, San Juan and Washington Counties as primary natural disaster areas, allowing farmers and ranchers to get low-interest loans to offset losses likely to be incurred by drought.

It's not the first time it has happened in Utah, but this time around is different. Typically, Lewis said, this kind of drought declaration comes out in July or August if it’s going to happen.

The period for winter water accumulation isn't over, so conditions could change, but right now, the mild winter is causing additional concern, for farmers who aren't immediately worried about their water supply.

FOX 13’s Todd Tanner has the full story.