| Help for Klamath Farmers
About $100 an Acre
Saturday, August 18, 2001 (pg. D5)
Klamath Basin farmers who have gone without water this summer will receive $90 to $110 per acre from a $20 million aid package Congress approved this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday.
Farms in Klamath County average about 700 acres, according to the 1997 Census of Agriculture. The relief plan would entitle a farm that size to about $70,000 in aid if owners did not receive irrigation water this summer because of a federal decision that kept water in Upper Klamath Lake for protected fish.
Bush administration officials said none of the money would go toward administration costs. All payments will be direct grants, not loans, said Rep. Greg Walden, R-OR. "All $20 million should end up in the hands of farmers."
The precise allocation per acre will depend on how many farmers actually request aid during a signup period, officials said. Farmers who receive the money must agree to promote water conservation on their land.
It's unclear whether the money would go only to landowners or also to farmers who lease their land. Walden and Sen. Gordon Smith, R-OR, issued statements hailing the release of the money but saying it is still not enough.
Copyright 2001 Oregon Live. All Rights Reserved.
US Dept. of Agriculture Press Release at: http://www.usda.gov/news/releases/2001/08/0148.htm