March 3, 2017 10:19:05 AM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says drought disaster aid is available in 79 of Mississippi's 82 counties -- and in 22 counties in adjacent states.
Farmers and ranchers in those counties have eight months from Feb. 23 to apply for low-interest loans to help cover part of their losses from the drought.
Sixty-nine Mississippi counties are primary disaster areas, and the other 10 are adjacent to them. That status also qualifies farmers in four other states: 10 counties in western Alabama, three in south Arkansas, five in southwest Tennessee, and four northeast Louisiana parishes.
The only Mississippi counties not on either list are Amite, Pike and Walthall.
The Mississippi counties declared primary disaster areas are: Adams, Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Claiborne, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys Issaquena, Itawamba, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Leake, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola Perry, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Winston, Yalobusha, and Yazoo counties.
The adjacent counties where farmers and ranchers also can qualify for low-interest disaster loans are:
■ In Mississippi, DeSoto, Franklin, Hancock, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Tunica and Wilkinson.
■ In Alabama, Choctaw, Colbert, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Mobile, Pickens, Sumter and Washington.
■ In Arkansas, Chicot, Desha and Phillips.
■ In Louisiana, Concordia, East Carroll, Madison and Tensas
■ In Tennessee, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, McNairy and Shelby.