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Agriculture disaster declared in Mo., Ill.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Fifty-five counties in Missouri and 11 in Illinois have been declared agriculture disaster areas, due to flooding and wind damage this year.

Farmers who lost at least 30 percent of their crops or livestock to floods and storms between February 1st and July 15th can qualify for low-interest federal loans.

Ed Hamill is with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"However, if a person had buildings, grain bins, fences, things like that destroyed or damaged, they could get a physical loss on the total dollar amount of those physical losses," Hamill said.

The USDA doesn't have exact dollar figures yet for the amounts of property damaged and crops and livestock lost, but Hamill says so far it runs into the tens of millions.

The agriculture disaster area also includes portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Those who want to apply for the loans have until April 20 of next year to do so. They can contact their local USDA office in their home counties or visit the agency's website, usda.gov.