According to the latest Drought Monitor Numbers, over half of Oregon is designated as severe, extreme or exceptional drought.  Farmers and ranchers in many portions of the state are already worried they won’t have enough water this growing season.  And some producers fear they won’t see water at all.

Jeff Merkley HEAD SHOT #3

Oregon senator Jeff Merkley said he’s trying to get more funding for local agriculture.

“Lobbying support when there is drought, a natural disaster, and helping get compensation, and good crop insurance laws that support our agricultural community.  We do have to realize, though, that a lot of what we’re seeing are long-term trends coming from climate change.”

Merkley added he believes that means drought will become more common, making it even more critical that irrigation districts continue piping projects.

“So that there will be more water that can be shared, to have more water in-stream, for example in the Deschutes River, and more water delivered to the farms.”

Senator Merkley also encourages farmers to consider adopting water-saving strategies like changing their style of irrigation.


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