Beebe Meets with Ag Secretary over Crop Freeze

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Governor Beebe met with the U-S Secretary of Agriculture yesterday to discuss federal assistance for Arkansas farmers whose crops were damaged after a freeze in early April.

Beebe says he's cautiously optimistic after meeting with Secretary Mike Johanns.

Beebe has declared emergencies in 52 of the state's 75 counties because of the cold snap.

Beebe says Johanns did not say whether the federal government would approve the state's request for federal aid. But Beebe says the agriculture secretary promised to expedite Arkansas' request.

Beebe had sharply criticized the amount of time it took for the federal government to respond to Arkansas' request for help earlier this year after tornadoes hit Dumas. Beebe says he's hopeful this experience would be different.

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