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Senate Bill Adds $10 Million In Drought Relief For Klamath Basin
BY Amelia Templeton Portland OR 5/28/10 Oregon Public Broadcast

Farmers in the Klamath basin are likely getting some more help from Congress. 

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden added $10 million in drought relief funds to a Senate emergency spending bill. Amelia Templeton reports.

Republican representative Greg Walden joined Oregon's Democratic senators in asking for the aid.

Farmers in the Klamath depend on water from a federal irrigation project to grow their potatoes, alfalfa, and onions.

But this summer they will only get about 1/3 of their normal water supply. Senator Wyden says he hopes the money will reach the basin within a few weeks.

Ron Wyden: "You can't be a United States senator, wave your wand, and make drought disappear. But you can take steps to help farmers meet their equipment payments and pay their bills. That's what this 10 million dollars is going to do."

The spending bill still has to go through the reconciliation process.

The $10 million would be used to pays some farmers to idle land. Then the limited water supply can be concentrated on fewer crops.

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              Page Updated: Tuesday June 01, 2010 02:16 AM  Pacific

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