USDA declares 12 counties disaster areas

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 12 counties in Mississippi as agricultural disaster areas for 2011.

The USDA says its declaration is based on combined effects of severe storms, tornadoes, severe spring flooding, Tropical Storm Lee, widespread drought and excessive heat since Jan. 1.

The declaration means farmers who lost money because of bad weather can apply for aid including low-interest loans.

The counties are Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hancock, Issaquena, Jefferson, Marion, Pike, Pearl River, Walthall, Warren, Wilkinson.

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