As the U.S. Department of Agriculture is celebrating its 150th anniversary a new farm bill is up for debate in Congress. So how is agriculture doing in Utah and the rest of the nation? Longtime Box Elder County rancher Arthur Douglas is now serving a Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency office for the U.S. Department of Agriculture with offices in Salt Lake City.
On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Thursday, Douglas said last year was a wet, wet year and cattle, hay and wheat prices were all up. He says this year is different and there are signs of a severe drought this year.
“On a drought monitor you can look at it and pretty much most of the state we’re in what they call a D2, which determines the severity of a drought,” Douglas explained. “But really the whole west, when you take our surrounding neighboring states of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico you can watch the news or pull it up online and pretty much tell the amount of fires going on in the west that we’re headed for a severe year.”
What can be done to minimize the situation? Douglas says everyone should be very conservative in their water usage.