Kentucky asks fed agency for drought disaster declaration

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The agriculture commissioner of Kentucky wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue a disaster declaration for parts of the state suffering from extreme heat and drought.

The Courier Journal reports Commissioner Ryan Quarles requested the declaration last week in a letter to the state executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, Brian Lacefield. Quarles says in the letter that the declaration would allow affected farmers to apply for emergency Farm Service Agency loans to help recover from the ongoing drought.

Sustained dry conditions over the past several weeks have led counties across Kentucky to declare bans on outdoor and open burning. As of two weeks ago, 109 of Kentucky's 120 counties were under a burn ban. Only 17 county burn bans remained as of Saturday.

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Information from: Courier Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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