FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Agriculture officials say farmers in 10 southeastern Kentucky counties may be eligible for federal aid as part of an agricultural disaster declaration due to the drought.
State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says the drought has hurt crops and forced livestock producers to feed hay earlier than usual because their pastures are depleted.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has notified Gov. Matt Bevin that Bell, McCreary and Whitley counties have been designated as agricultural disaster areas.
Quarles' office says farmers in contiguous counties also may be eligible for aid. Those counties are Clay, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Pulaski and Wayne in Kentucky.
The designation makes farmers in those counties eligible to be considered for certain aid - including emergency loans - from the U.S. Farm Service Agency.