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Drought disaster declared for Oklahoma, Arkansas

Posted: January 9, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 76 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties and nearly two-thirds of Arkansas’ counties as primary natural disaster areas due to ongoing drought conditions.

Wednesday’s declaration makes farmers in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans of 2.15 percent.

In Oklahoma — only Ottawa County is not a primary disaster area — but farmers there are also eligible because the county is contiguous to those in the primary disaster declaration.

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.

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