WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated two northwest Kansas counties as disaster areas due to drought. The counties are Norton and Phillips. The USDA says the counties suffered from severe drought for eight or more consecutive weeks.

The natural disaster designation allows the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering through emergency farm loans.

Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including replacing essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganizing a farming operation or refinancing certain debts.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.