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Associated Press, Published October 25 2012

ND county declared natural disaster area due to drought

BISMARCK — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated Stark County in southwest North Dakota as a primary natural disaster area due to drought.

That means farmers and ranchers in that county and the contiguous counties of Grant, Mercer and Morton now qualify for natural disaster assistance from the federal government.

Twenty-two other North Dakota counties were designated primary disaster areas earlier. They include Barnes, Benson, Billings, Bowman, Cass, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Griggs, Logan, Lamoure, McIntosh, Nelson, Ramsey, Ransom, Slope, Stark, Steele, Stutsman, and Traill.

With contiguous counties included, producers in 41 of North Dakota's 53 counties are eligible for aid.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.