Feds declare 34 Florida counties disaster areas due to bad weather

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 34 Florida counties as primary natural disaster areas due to frosts, freezes and drought over the last six months.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday that the federal agency also has designated 28 counties as contiguous natural disaster areas.

Only five of Florida's 67 counties are not covered by either declaration.

The designations mean farmers in primary and contiguous counties may be are eligible for assistance from the federal Farm Service Agency,including emergency loans and supplement revenue assistance payments.

Farmers have eight months to apply for loans. Revenue assistance applications will be accepted later this year when 2010 farm data is available.

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