(AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 60 Texas counties as primary natural disaster areas because of losses and damage from recent drought.

102909378 USDA Designates 60 Texas Counties For Disaster Aid

The dry banks of a river are pictured on July 14, 2010. (credit: ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)

In a statement Wednesday, the USDA designated the counties of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains, along with those along the Red River and in northeastern Texas. Also covered by the designation are counties in Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico that are contiguous with the Texas disaster zone.

Qualified farm and ranch operators will be eligible for emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency. Those operators have until Nov. 11 to apply for loans to help cover their losses. Each application will be judged on its own merits.