Nearly all of Alabama declared a disaster area

Every county but one in Alabama has been declared a disaster area due to agricultural losses caused by the drought.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the announcement this week.The declaration means farmers could be eligible for low-interest emergency loans, according to U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus.  Farmers have eight months to apply for the loans to help cover part of their losses.

Fifty-nine counties were declared "primary disaster areas" because of the damage they sustained after the drought began in February. Another seven counties were named "contiguous disaster counties" because the U.S. Department of Agriculture was unable to confirm sufficient farming losses, but farmers in those seven counties may be eligible for assistance.

The seven contiguous disaster counties are: Baldwin, Clarke, Escambia, Lamar, Marion, Washington and Winston. The 59 primary disaster areas are: Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marengo, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Wilcox.