OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire has asked the federal government to designate six Eastern Washington counties as farm disaster areas due to weather-related losses.

Gregoire says farmers in some areas got as little as half the average moisture they usually receive. The six counties are Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Lincoln and Okanogan.

A federal disaster declaration would make emergency low-interest loans available to farmers in those areas, as well as adjoining counties.

Gregoire made the request in a letter Thursday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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