NOVEMBER 27, 2006 - Posted at 3:41 p.m. CST
JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The federal Agriculture Department declares several southeast Missouri counties a disaster area because of heavy rains.
The disaster declaration comes after more than a foot of rain fell in late September. The storms destroyed up to one-half of the cotton crop in some areas and also affected corn and soybean crops.
A disaster declaration makes farmers eligible for low-interest emergency loans.
The USDA issued disaster declarations for Butler, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot and Stoddard counties. Farmers in the bordering counties of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Ripley, Scott and Wayne also will be eligible for disaster aid.