Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared nine parishes as disaster areas due to recent drought.
Strain said Thursday that Natchitoches Parish is the primary disaster area. Bienville, DeSoto, Grant, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn were named because they’re adjacent to Natchitoches Parish.
Eligible farmers and ranchers in both primary and contiguous parishes can get low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency. They have eight months from the Sept. 30 declaration date to apply.