DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Farmers in 22 additional Iowa counties now may qualify for low interest emergency loans from the federal government as a result of this summer's drought. With the latest designation announced Wednesday, farmers in all Iowa counties now could qualify for drought-related emergency assistance.
Six counties added by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as primary natural disaster areas include Clarke, Emmet, Madison, Taylor, Union, and Warren. In addition farmers in 16 contiguous counties may qualify for the loans and other assistance.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
The emergency loan interest rate had earlier been reduced to 2.25 percent from 3.75 percent by the Department of Agriculture.