State gets natural disaster declaration


A natural disaster declaration has been issued for 50 Alabama counties by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of damage caused by excessive rains and floods this year.The declaration Thursday makes farmers in those counties eligible to be considered for benefits from the USDA.The declaration came after Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley wrote a letter to U.S Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack requesting assistance for farmers in counties hit hard by rain.Counties covered by the disaster declaration span from Mobile on the Alabama coast to Madison in north Alabama.Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan says 2013 has been one of the wettest years ever. This year, farmers in some areas boasted of record crops because of heavy rain and cool temperatures while others had damages.