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Nine Oklahoma counties get drought aid

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued an agricultural disaster declaration for nine Oklahoma counties.

The designation announced Tuesday was in response to a request from Gov. Brad Henry. It will allow ranchers and farmers in those counties and five contiguous counties to receive federal assistance.

Extreme heat, dry weather and high winds have contributed to heavy damage to hay forages, livestock grazing lands, alfalfa, and other crops in parts of western and northwest Oklahoma.

The disaster designation will help farmers and ranchers in Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Ellis, Roger Mills, Dewey and Woods counties. The five contiguous counties affected by the designation are Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Custer, and Major counties.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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