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Severe. Brutal. Historic. Devastating. Dangerous.These words are being used by scientists, environmentalists, farmers, ranchers, tourism officials, emergency managers, and a host of other specialists across Nevada to describe the drought.As we enter the fourth year of drought, and as temperatures rise this summer, the state will face myriad challenges relating to everything from agriculture to wildfires to water conservation. That's why KUNR is talking to community members and experts alike, bringing you the latest updates on this natural disaster. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________This special series from the Reno Public Radio news team provided detailed reports and tips throughout the week of April 27-May 1 on water availability, ranching, residential landscaping, native plants and fire danger. Hear and read about the stories below.Email us with your feedback about this series.

Drought Is "Brutal" Says Fallon Farmer

This time last year, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss visited Rick Lattin in Fallon where they toured his farm and talked about Lattin’s growing concern for his crops, especially the alfalfa.

Now, with yet another harvest threatened by the ongoing drought, Michelle checked up on Lattin to find out how he and other farmers in that community are holding up.

Right now, Lattin says he's waiting to hear from his local water district on how much will be allocated to alfalfa farmers. The word right now is that allocations could be as low as 15 percent, which Lattin says would be crippling.

"Some of the farmers are going to have look at borrowing money to stay in business," Lattin explains, "and that's at the point where you look at it and say, 'Hmm...do I want to do that or do I want to find an exit strategy?'"

Despite the severity of this dry spell, Lattin says the farmers he knows have been saving water for years as the preparation for a drought in the desert never ceases.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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