Four more Montana counties have been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to crop losses caused by drought.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture added Jefferson, Madison, Teton and Toole counties, bringing to 19 the total number of Montana counties declared natural disaster areas.
On July 15, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack designated Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Glacier, Granite, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Pondera, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders and Silver Bow counties as primary natural disaster areas.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that the federal disaster designation opens the door for qualified farmers and ranchers to obtain emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency. Farmers and ranchers in 11 additional contiguous counties may also be eligible for emergency loans.