By NEMS Daily Journal
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 44 counties in Mississippi as primary natural disaster areas due a drought that occurred from May 1 to Dec. 31, 2010.
Northeast Mississippi counties included on the list are Benton, Marshall, Chickasaw, Monroe, Clay, Oktibbeha and Lee.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Mississippi also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous: Tippah, Itawamba, Union, Calhoun, Lafayette, Pontotoc and Prentiss.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Feb. 28 making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.
Daily Journal, wire reports