BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's Department of Agriculture says federal authorities have declared 28 parishes in the state natural disaster areas because of drought.

Commissioner Mike Strain said in a Wednesday news release that the designation makes farm operators in the areas eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including low-interest emergency loans.

The designation names 21 parishes as primary natural disaster areas. Seven neighboring parishes were named as contiguous disaster areas.

The affected parishes are:

  • Bienville
  • Bossier
  • Caddo
  • Claiborne
  • DeSoto
  • East Carroll
  • Grant
  • Jackson
  • Lincoln
  • Madison
  • Morehouse
  • Natchitoches
  • Ouachita
  • Red River
  • Richland
  • Sabine
  • Union
  • Vernon
  • Webster
  • West Carroll
  • Winn
  • along with the contiguous parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Caldwell, Franklin, LaSalle, Rapides and Tensas