USDA declares April freeze a disaster

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The U-S Department of Agriculture says an April freeze damaged crops so severely that Arkansas farmers are eligible for disaster assistance.

Governor Beebe said Friday that while the disaster declaration covers 68 counties, farmers in the rest of Arkansas are eligible because their counties are contiguous to a county covered by the order.

Much of Arkansas had freezing temperatures during Easter weekend -- well into the planting season for much of the state.

Farmers are eligible for low-interest loans from the U-S-D-A Farm Services Agency. Applications must be in within eight months. The agency will consider the extent of losses, repayment ability and available financial security when reviewing loan applications.

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