Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 11 north Louisiana parishes as disaster areas because of drought.
He says he was notified Wednesday that four — Morehouse, Richland, Union and West Carroll — are primary natural disaster areas. The other seven — Caldwell, Claiborne, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Madison and Ouachita — were named because they're are adjacent to the primary disaster area.
Farmers in those parishes are now eligible for consideration for low-interest emergency loans and other aid from the Farm Service Agency.
The USDA says 63 percent of the nation's hay acreage and about 73 percent of cattle acreage are in areas experiencing drought. About 87 percent of the U.S. corn and 85 percent of soybeans are included in the drought areas.