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Sep 5, 2012 8:56 PM by MTN News

Four more Montana counties declared disaster areas

Four more Montana counties have been declared disaster areas following severe drought and fire conditions.

The U.S. Agriculture Department today declared Broadwater, Gallatin, Jefferson and Silver Bow counties as primary disaster counties, areas where farmers and ranchers are dealing with historic drought as well as the threat of wildfires, according to a press release from the offices of Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus.

Tester and Baucus also announced that seven more Montana counties are eligible for the same low-interest loans because they border primary disaster counties. They are Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Lewis and Clark, Madison, Meagher, Park and Powell counties.

"Montana farmers and ranchers continue to deal with historic drought and wildfires, and now is not the time to take our eye off the ball," Senator Jon Tester said in a news release. "This assistance will help producers move forward, but we need the House of Representatives to stop stalling the Farm Bill so we can get farmers and ranchers the support they deserve."

For a list of primary disaster counties, click here.

Tester and Baucus are encouraging Montana ranchers and farmers to contact their local Farm Service Agency offices to apply for loans and to find out what other assistance they may qualify for.

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