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Drought Improvements for Southern Colorado

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Southeast Colorado counties along the border with Kansas saw some improvement in drought conditions over the past week.

Eastern Baca, Prowers and Kiowa counties saw extreme drought pull away from the border, dropping to severe conditions. A narrow portion of north central Kiowa County along with parts of southern Cheyenne County moved to moderate drought from severe conditions. A similar improvement was also noted in central Lincoln County.

Interactive Map Update – Two More Colorado Counties Designated for Drought Disaster

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As intense drought continues to plague southern and western Colorado, two more counties have received designations as primary natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

This week, Elbert and El Paso counties were added to the list of designated counties. Primary counties now account for 33 of the state's 64 counties. Ten more counties are eligible for assistance as neighboring counties.

Drought Expansion Shifts to Northwest Colorado

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A week after extreme drought expanded in southeast Colorado, conditions have also deteriorated in the northwest.

Jackson, Grand and Summit counties, which had been largely drought-free, shifted to abnormally dry. Moderate drought expanded to cover most of Moffat county and a larger portion of Eagle county. Severe drought expanded further into eastern Garfield county.

Interactive Map - Colorado Ag Producers Eligible for Loans for Blizzard, Wind, Fire Damages

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Agriculture producers across 34 Colorado counties may now eligible for physical loss loans due to damages from fires and high winds that occurred this year between February 13 and April 19, as well as a blizzard and high winds that occurred April 13-14. The deadline to apply is January 9, 2019.

Producers in Baca, Chaffee, El Paso, Las Animas, Prowers, Pueblo and Washington counties - designated at primary damage areas - may be eligible for the low-interest loans if they suffered "severe physical losses" which can include buildings and livestock.

Interactive Map – Guide to USDA, SBA Colorado Drought Disaster Designations and Assistance

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Editor's note: Additional counties have received designations. See the latest updates here.

Drought conditions that began to increase in December continue to impact the state, with nearly one-third of Colorado in the extreme or exceptional categories.