Farmers and farm-related businesses in 29 north Mississippi counties are eligible for low-interest loans and other aid, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared them drought disaster areas this month.
The primary counties named are Carroll, Grenada, Itawamba, Leflore, Lee, Monroe, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo and Yalobusha. Farmers and small businesses in another 19 counties that adjoin the 10 primary counties are also eligible for assistance.
Farmers have eight months from the declaration date to qualify for emergency loans from the USDA to cover losses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration says it's also offering subsidized federal loans to small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, fish processors and private nonprofits financially injured by the drought.
A broad swath of the South from Mississippi to South Carolina has been designated as a drought disaster area.