BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated 21 counties in North Dakota as disasters, as drought continues in the state.

The secretarial declaration means farmers and ranchers can apply for certain types of aid including emergency loans. So can producers in neighboring counties.

That means producers in 32 of North Dakota’s 53 counties can apply, along with those in five counties in Montana and four in South Dakota.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows about half of North Dakota remains mired in some form of drought.

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