Utah Farmers Face Drought Concerns

ST. GEORGE?While urban residents face restrictions on watering their lawns, ranchers and farmers worry about whether their livelihoods will survive the fourth straight year of below-average precipitation.

In six decades, St. George rancher LaVar Foremaster has seen his share of droughts, but never, he says, has it been this dry.

“It’s the worst drought I can remember,” Foremaster said.

Utah’s drought committee, comprised of officials from several state agencies, plans to meet today to decide whether Gov. Mike Leavitt will declare an official drought in some counties. Such a declaration would free up federal disaster relief funds for farmers and ranchers.