The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated six southern Oklahoma counties natural disaster areas, making them eligible for assistance.
Agriculture Department officials say Bryan, Choctaw, Jefferson, Love, McCurtain and Marshall counties qualify for aid because they are contiguous to counties in Texas, the primary natural disaster area. The declaration, announced Wednesday, is for losses caused by drought, excessive heat, high winds and wildfires that began Jan. 1, 2011.
Oklahoma ranchers and farmers in the six counties have eight months to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency.
Other programs include the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance and the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.