The USDA announced Friday that 44 Iowa counties are eligible for agriculture disaster aid as a result of drought this year.
That was the farthest thing from anyone's mind this past spring when flooding rains were a problem. But the faucet shut off and drought galloped across the state in the summer.
John Whitaker, executive director of the Iowa Farm Services Agency, said problems varied by county.
“After a very wet spring, we had a very dry summer,” he said. The Farm Services Agency is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The drought designation will provide farmers access to low-interest loans to get them through any problems with cash flow, Whitaker said.
This is Iowa's second successive year of drought. About three-fourths of the state is in drought or nearly so, according to the National Drought Monitor.
Because of the way that federal disaster aid is structured, counties adjacent to the 44 will also qualify.
Here's the USDA list of Iowa counties included in the primary disaster area:
Adair, Audubon, Boone, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Des Moines, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Muscatine, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Story, Tama, Union, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Webster.
Neighboring counties that qualify:
Adams, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherokee, Clay, Davis, Decatur, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Harrison, Humboldt, Kossuth, Linn, Mitchell, Monona, O'Brien, Palo Alto, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Scott, Taylor, Van Buren, Wayne, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Wright.
Illinois: Hancock, Henderson, Mercer and Rock Island
Minnesota: Fillmore and Mower
Check out the national map of counties that have been designated as disaster areas.