BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 25 counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by various weather conditions since the start of last year, ranging from excess rain to drought.

Farmers and ranchers in the designated counties are eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Producers in contiguous counties in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana also are eligible.

“President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

The primary disaster counties in North Dakota are Adams, Billings, Bottineau, Burke, Burleigh, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Hettinger, McHenry, McKenzie, McLean, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Ramsey, Renville, Stark, Traill, Walsh, Ward and Williams.

Affected contiguous counties in North Dakota are Benson, Bowman, Cass, Cavalier, Eddy, Grant, Griggs, Kidder, Logan, McIntosh, Mercer, Morton, Pierce, Rolette, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, Steele and Towner.

Also affected are the Minnesota counties of Kittson, Marshall, Norman and Polk; the Montana counties of Fallon, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wibaux; and the South Dakota counties of Campbell, Corson, Harding, and Perkins.

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