This past summer Tennessee saw one of the worst droughts in a long time. The lack of water was so severe, many communities had to put conservation measures into place. Now the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is listing nearly half of the state as a disaster area. 46 counties are being declared natural disaster areas due to the lack of rain with several being in the 1057 News listening area. They are Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Monroe, Morgan, Rhea, Roane, White and Putnam. Any farmers or ranchers who lost money in the drought can apply for a low interest emergency loan. The USDA Farm Service Agency is handling those requests and will go through the application for eligibility.