Federal officials have announced $20 million in aid for California farmers affected by the ongoing drought.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the money will be earmarked for improvements in irrigation and assistance with water facilities, among other things.

Farmers could also plant cover crops to maintain soil fertility.

State officials announced last week that they would not be sending water to California's agricultural customers, and it's expected U.S. officials will only allot a fraction of the federally controlled water that farmers want, if any.

Applicants for the grants should contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

More information on the initiative can be found at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.