Washington cherry growers granted natural disaster designation following challenging season

Washington cherry growers granted natural disaster designation following challenging season

A relief for the producers

In response to the significant losses incurred by Washington’s cherry industry during last year’s harvest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the state’s request for a natural disaster designation. This designation acknowledges the adverse impact of excessive heat on the cherry crop, resulting in a compressed harvest window and financial strain on growers across the state.

The USDA’s approval enables affected growers in primary counties, including Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Walla Walla, and Yakima.

Farmers impacted by the cherry crop losses can apply for loans of up to $500,000 through the USDA’s natural disaster division. The loans aim to alleviate financial burdens and aid in the recovery of the industry following the challenging season.

The approval of the natural disaster designation underscores the importance of collaboration between federal agencies and local agricultural communities in addressing the impacts of unforeseen challenges.

This decision aligns with what has occurred in other states of the United States like Oregon, where a natural disaster was also designated, paving the way for local producers to access assistance. 

Now, it is hoped that producers can resume this newly beginning season and that production and harvest will allow them to leave behind the complex results that have been haunting them for quite some time.

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