USDA declares ag disaster in northern Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says farmers in 16 northern Wisconsin counties hit by harsh weather will be eligible for federal loans and other aid.

Walker says at his request, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared agricultural disasters in Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Oneida and Vilas counties.

Counties bordering the disaster areas also are included: Burnett, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Oconto, Price, Sawyer and Washburn counties.

Northern Wisconsin had several periods of bad weather last winter and spring, including frost heave that damaged root systems and a 10-inch snowfall in April.

Farmers in the disaster area may be eligible to receive low-interest emergency loans and other assistance from the U.S. Farm Service Agency.