NASHVILLE, TN. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has asked that 34 counties be designated a natural disaster for agriculture due to drought and excessive heat last year.

Haslam's office says the request is in addition to 42 counties that the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved last year for the same disaster at former Gov. Phil Bredesen's request. Haslam said in a statement Friday that the newly requested counties weren't able to show their losses until after harvest.

The counties are Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Grundy, Haywood, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Johnson, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, Macon, Maury, Montgomery, Morgan, Obion, Robertson, Scott, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Trousdale, Van Buren, White, Wilson and Wayne.

The statement says approval would make farmers in these and adjoining counties eligible to apply for low-interest loans, supplemental farm payments and other assistance.

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