Federal agriculture officials have granted Missouri’s request to declare 85 counties disaster areas, because of the lingering drought. The declaration by the United States Department of Agriculture makes farmers living in those counties eligible for loan-interest emergency loans to help offset losses due to the drought. Farmers in the counties listed in the disaster declaration have eight months to apply for loans to help cover actual losses. Applications can be made at Farm Services Agency offices. Governor Blunt had asked that 96 counties be included in the declaration.