Late-winter snowfall and early-spring rainfall have pushed back some of Idaho's drought worries, but nearly 30 percent of the Gem State remains in a status of severe drought or worse.
The latest drought monitor map, released April 24 by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Weather Service, indicates that approximately 28 percent of Idaho is in severe drought conditions. Compare that to only three months ago when nearly 47 percent of Idaho was reported to be in a severe drought or worse.
Meanwhile, the USDA has added three more Idaho counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the drought. The Twin Falls Times-News reports that Gooding, Jerome and Lincoln counties have now joined Elmore, Owyhee and Twin Falls counties as primary natural disaster areas. What that means is that qualified farm operators in the designated counties may be eligible for low-interest USDA loans to help cover part of their losses.
The Times-News also reports that nine other counties—Ada, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Cassia, Custer, Minidoka and Oneida—have been designated as contiguous disaster counties.