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Half of US counties now considered disaster areas

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Image uploaded from a quicklink Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties -- 1,584 in 32 states -- have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that's considered the worst in decades.

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