LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The USDA has declared a disaster due to the drought in Arkansas. The declaration impacts 12 counties in the state and four in Missouri.

The declaration has four northern Arkansas counties as primary natural disaster areas, then adding eight shared-border counties as contiguous disaster counties. Four additional Missouri counties are also contiguous and subject to the same relief as Arkansas counties.

The disaster declaration allows the USDA to consider Farm Service Agency emergency loans to the counties impacted. Farmers have eight months to apply for the loans, which are made based upon drought impact and ability to repay.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson had asked for a disaster declaration July 15.

The four primary counties:

  • Baxter
  • Fulton
  • Randolph
  • Sharp

Contiguous counties

  • Clay
  • Greene
  • Independence
  • Izard
  • Lawrence
  • Marion
  • Searcy
  • Stone

Contiguous in Missouri

  • Howell
  • Oregon
  • Ozark
  • Ripley