Redwood County was one of nine declared on Monday to be drought disaster areas by the USDA, as defined as “counties (suffering) from severe or extreme drought for eight or more consecutive weeks.”

Lincoln, Lyon, MacLeod, Murray, Nicollet, Pipestone, Redwood, Rice and Wright counties are listed as primary natural disaster areas. An additional 20 counties in Minnesota and four in South Dakota were named as contiguous disaster counties, including Brown, Nobles, Cottonwood, Murray, Renville, Rock and Yellow Medicine counties.

This week’s disaster declaration allows farmers to apply for federal aid from the Farm Service Agency, and from state Disaster Recovery Loans. Farmers in eligible counties will have up to eight months to apply for emergency loans.