Disaster aid approved for farmers in 75 counties

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has declared 75 of Oklahoma's 77 counties disaster areas, qualifying farmers and ranchers for federal aid.

The declaration was announced Friday by Gov. Brad Henry.  Henry said that while the action will not solve every problem for farmers and ranchers, it is a step in the right direction.  Oklahoma farm land has been damaged by weather conditions this year that started with a crop-damaging freeze, followed by excessive rainfall, flooding and high winds.

Farmers in the two counties not included in the disaster declaration, Pontotoc and Pushmataha, can still get low-interest emergency loans from the Department of Agriculture if they meet eligibility requirements.

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