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Twelve counties in Washington State have been declared disaster areas, a designation that might help producers recover from severe storms and other adverse weather during the 2006 growing season.

Producers in Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane, Walla Walla, Whitman, Yakima, and neighboring counties, who have suffered losses, might be eligible for long-term, low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The FSA is accepting applications for emergency loans with 3.75 percent interest and payment terms up to 40 years with real estate security. Applicants must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere at reasonable rates and terms.

Information is available from local FSA offices and on-line at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/fsa.asp.