LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday he has requested a federal disaster declaration for the entire state because of the drought.
"It will take much more than the recent scattered rain to break these drought conditions," Beebe said in a statement issued by his office. "Many of our farmers and ranchers face a tough season ahead, and the federal government can provide them with tools to ease the financial impact of crop losses."
Because of dry conditions, 88 percent of the state is in a sever drought and 36 percent is in extreme drought, the governor’s office said.
Beebe submitted a similar request to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for 13 counties last month, but on Tuesday he expanded his request to include all 75 counties in the state.
If issued, the declaration would allow eligible farmers and ranchers to receive emergency loans to support operations hampered by the drought.
Farmers and ranchers can contact their local Farm Service Agency office for details on how to apply for the loans if the declaration is issued.