NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bredesen is seeking federal farm assistance for 16 Tennessee counties hurt by excessive rain and flooding that occurred in September and last month.

Bredesen requested a disaster designation for the counties in a letter this week to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The 16 counties are Bradley, Chester, Cumberland, Hamilton, Hardeman, Lauderdale, Macon, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, Shelby, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson.

A disaster designation would make farmers in these and adjoining counties eligible to apply for assistance through their local USDA Farm Service Agency.

Farmers in these counties have reported crop losses ranging from 10 to 50 percent for major commodities including corn, soybeans, cotton and tobacco.


(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)