JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Farmers across most of Missouri now are eligible for federal aid as a result of a natural disaster declaration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Gov. Jay Nixon said Wednesday the declaration means farmers can get emergency loans and other assistance from the USDA's Farm Service Agency.
The disaster declaration applies to 31 counties that have suffered extreme or exceptional drought, or have been in a severe drought for more than eight weeks. Farmers in an additional 32 neighboring counties also can receive aid.
The 47 of 75 Arkansas counties that are primary disaster areas are in the northwestern two-thirds of the state and farmers in counties contiguous to those counties are also eligible for federal assistance.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated a total of 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas in the declaration.
The 31 Missouri counties under the primary disaster declaration are: Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Bates, Caldwell, Callaway, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Daviess, DeKalb, Dunklin, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Lafayette, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nodaway, Pettis, Pike, Ralls, Ray, Warren and Worth.
The 32 Missouri counties designated as contiguous disaster counties are: Adair, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Camden, Carroll, Cass, Chariton, Clay, Franklin, Gasconade, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Johnson, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Miller, New Madrid, Osage, Pemiscot, Platte, Randolph, St. Charles, St. Clair, Saline, Shelby, Stoddard, Sullivan and Vernon.