LITTLE ROCK — United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has made Secretarial disaster declarations for farmers and ranchers in 10 Arkansas counties that suffered losses due to flash flooding, excessive rain, high winds, hail, and dangerous lightning beginning on June 29, 2014, and continuing. Qualifying farmers will be eligible for federal aid, including emergency loans.

Responding to requests from Governor Mike Beebe, Vilsack issued disaster declarations in response to flood conditions in Cross, Independence, Jackson, Lee, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, St. Francis, White, and Woodruff counties.

Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Butch Calhoun said, "I appreciate Governor Beebe’s and Secretary Vilsack’s quick response to this agricultural disaster. The unprecedented amount of rainfall at this critical time of year for agriculture has cost Arkansas farmers a tremendous amount in lost crops that can’t be replanted and input costs that can’t be recovered."

In addition, a declaration providing flood-related aid also applies to 13 Arkansas counties that are contiguous to the declared region. Included in this declaration are Arkansas, Cleburne, Craighead, Crittenden, Faulkner, Izard, Jefferson, Lawrence, Phillips, Poinsett, Pulaski, Sharp, and Stone counties.

Farmers who feel they may qualify for this federal aid should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.