ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 12 New Mexico counties as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.
The counties are Bernalillo, Grant, Luna, Sierra, Catron, Hidalgo, Otero, Socorro, Dona Ana, Lincoln, Sandoval and Valencia.
Farmers and ranchers in 11 counties in New Mexico also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Those counties are Chaves, Eddy, McKinley, Santa Fe, Cibola, Guadalupe, Rio Arriba, Torrance, De Baca, Los Alamos and San Juan.
The USDA says 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.