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Seattle Times: Northwest farmers who lost crops to extreme heat eligible for federal disaster relief

By Hal Bernton

Pacific Northwest food producers stung by extreme heat will be eligible for disaster relief in a $10 billion package included in legislation now signed into law.

The record-setting temperatures in late June caused losses across a broad swath of the state from oyster aquaculture operations in the Puget Sound region to fruit orchards in the Yakima Valley and potato growers in the Columbia River Basin.

Several members of Washington’s congressional delegation, including Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, and Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, worked to make food producers who suffered damages from extreme weather eligible for the new money.

"One berry farmer in my district lost 84% of the farm’s crop because of the heat — that’s an estimated $232,000 in lost revenue,” said DelBene. “There were record temperatures and losses we had never seen before." 

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