Farmers in Pima, Pinal and 10 other Arizona counties might qualify for emergency government loans because of lingering drought.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared the central part of the state a natural disaster area.
"Our hearts go out to those Arizona farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy by sustaining the successes of America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We're also telling Arizona producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."
Farmers who cannot qualify for commercial loans can apply for low-interest government loans.
Other counties covered in the declaration include Apache, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Navajo, Yavapai and Yuma counties.
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