Washington's drought increasingly 'extreme'
(Sub Req'd) The second-driest spring on record has pushed more than one-fifth of Washington into an "extreme drought," the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday.
In 127 years of record-keeping, only the spring of 1924 was drier statewide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. South-central and southeast Washington are especially dry. The USDA on Thursday predicted winter wheat production will decline by 28% and rated nearly half the state's pastures and rangeland "very poor." Klickitat County rancher Keith Kreps said the conditions portended higher costs for cattlemen. "The price of hay is going to be higher than hell," he said. "It's going to make us tighten our belt. Read On