Gov. John Hickenlooper has asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to provide drought assistance to Lincoln County.
"Farmers and ranchers have seen winter wheat wither due to lack of precipitation beginning in October 2011 and continuing into this year," Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to Vilsack. "Winter wheat production is estimated to be reduced by 36 percent, and native grass pastures are producing 40 percent less forage for livestock."
The drought declaration, if approved, would allow farmers and ranchers to apply for emergency loans if they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.