Aid available to Ark producers hit by armyworms

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated five Arkansas counties as primary natural disaster areas because of problems caused by armyworms.

Officials say producers in Boone, Fulton, Izard, Madison and Sharp counties who suffered damage and losses caused by armyworms beginning April 1 will be eligible for disaster assistance. Farmers and ranchers in 14 neighboring counties in Arkansas and four contiguous counties in Missouri also are eligible.

The neighboring Arkansas counties are Baxter; Benton; Carroll; Crawford; Franklin; Independence; Johnson; Lawrence; Marion; Newton; Randolph; Searcy; Stone and Washington.

Low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency will be available to those included in the declaration. Farmers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover actual losses.

The Emergency Conservation and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance programs also are available.

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