Gregoire asks feds to assess Wash. farm damage

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire is asking the federal government to determine whether the entire state of Washington should be considered a farm disaster area.

Farmers around the state reported that this year's cold and wet weather have caused production delays and crop loses. Gregoire said Monday that this is the first time in recent memory that the state has asked the federal government to determine the extent of agricultural disaster statewide.

A federal disaster declaration would allow farmers impacted by the weather to apply for assistance, including low-interest loans.

Washington State Department of Agriculture director Dan Newhouse says this year's weather is a reminder to all producers to consider purchasing the appropriate crop insurance.