USDA expands drought aid eligibility in La. and Miss
NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers and ranchers in nearly 70 percent of Louisiana's parishes and of Mississippi's counties are now eligible for drought disaster aid.
In Mississippi, USDA added 10 counties to the list of primary disaster areas on Thursday, bringing the total to 30. Another 25 are next to one of those, and a 26th is next to a drought disaster area in Louisiana.
It named 43 Louisiana parishes as eligible on Wednesday, and added three more to the list on Thursday. Twenty-six are primary drought disaster areas, and 19 are eligible because they're adjacent to those parishes.
Farmers in those areas have eight months to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.
The agency also has other programs to help farmers and ranchers.