USDA designates 23 Wisconsin counties as disaster areas

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Wisconsin drought declaration

Wisconsin drought declaration

MADISON (AP) — Federal officials have declared 23 counties in southern Wisconsin as natural disaster areas due to the drought, making farms in those areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

The counties have been baked by recent heat waves in which temperatures sizzled into the 100-degree range and left severe drought conditions that took a major toll on crop production.

The disaster designation was announced Wednesday, July 25th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Here’s a list of the counties affected:

  • Adams
  • Columbia
  • Crawford
  • Dane
  • Dodge
  • Fond du Lac
  • Grant
  • Green
  • Green Lake
  • Iowa
  • Jefferson
  • Kenosha
  • Lafayette
  • Marquette
  • Milwaukee
  • Ozaukee
  • Racine
  • Richland
  • Rock
  • Sauk
  • Walworth
  • Washington
  • Waukesha

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Scott Walker said the state will begin accepting applications for its Drought Relief Guarantee Program. The program would provide a 90% guarantee on agricultural loans up to $15,000 for three years.

Earlier this month, Walker opened up some state-owned lands for hay and grazing. He also sped up the process for farmers to temporarily irrigate using stream or lake water.

CLICK HERE for more stories from FOX6 News on our extreme drought.