Disaster declared for farmers in 23 Mo. counties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster declaration for farmers in 23 Missouri counties, including several in the St. Louis area, hit by floods and heavy rain since May 1.

Friday's declaration allows farmers in those counties and 26 neighboring counties to seek federal assistance for losses caused by the severe weather. Gov. Jay Nixon had requested the declaration last month.

Counties designated as primary disaster areas are Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Callaway, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Franklin, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Lafayette, Lewis, Moniteau, Montgomery, Platte, Ray, Saline, St. Louis and Warren.

The 26 neighboring counties covered by the declaration are Audrain, Caldwell, Cass, Chariton, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Gasconade, Gentry, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lincoln, Livingston, Marion, Miller, Morgan, Nodaway, Osage, Pettis, Pike, Randolph, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles and Washington. The city of St. Louis is also covered.

Nixon requested a different disaster declaration yesterday for agricultural losses in 101 Missouri counties affected by severe drought. That request is still pending.