Growing drought results in USDA disaster designation

Federal Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue notified Governor Mary Fallin this week that he has designated four Oklahoma counties as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.

The Secretarial declaration means farmers and ranchers in Nowata, Rogers, Mayes and Delaware counties can apply for certain types of aid including emergency loans. Those contiguous counties in Oklahoma are Washington, Tulsa, Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Craig and Ottawa as well as the Kansas counties of Montgomery and Labette, McDonald County in Missouri and Benton County in Arkansas.

That means producers in 11 Oklahoma counties, along with those in the two Kansas and one each in Missouri and Arkansas can apply.

Local FSA offices can provide affected farm operators with further information on this and any previous designations.