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A second and final round of trade mitigation payments meant to assist farmers suffering from damage due to “unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations” has been announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and farmers in Wasco and Hood River counties are encouraged to apply by the Jan. 15 deadline.
Three members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation are on the move to get federal assistance for farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties who have sustained damage from recent wildfires. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has written a letter asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to allow emergency grazing of livestock on Conservation Reserve Program ground. He also asks that farmers be given flexibility to plant cover crops for soil stabilization without being placed in the continuous production category with the Risk Management Agency and having their crop insurance adversely affected.
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Bureau and the Oregon Farm Bureau have established relief funds for farmers and ranchers impacted by the Substation Fire in Wasco and Sherman County.
Wheat fields burnt in the Substation Fire — 79,121 acres in Wasco and Sherman County — are now at risk of both wind and water erosion, according to soil and water conservationists with the United States Department of Agriculture personnel in The Dalles. “Both wind and water can be a problem,” said Clinton Whitten, who works on soil issues with farmers in both counties.