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Drought disaster areas declared

Ventura County Agriculture Commissioner Henry Gonzales wrote a letter to California’s office of emergency services sharing his drought concerns.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Ventura, Santa Barbara and Imperial Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas.

They will be eligible for aid and emergency water deliveries for livestock.

Farmers in neighboring counties such as San Luis Obispo, Kern and Los Angeles will also qualify for natural disaster assistance.

Gonzales said this is the second year in a row growers have had to deal with severe drought conditions.

They must decide whether to fumigate without a secure water supply.

The process can cost up to $10,000 an acre.

He said without rain consumers are likely to notice produce and meat prices going up.

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