A state official says at least a half dozen South Dakota counties already have passed resolutions seeking disaster declarations because of damage caused by grasshoppers.

Nathan Sanderson of the state Agricultural Department says county commissions have passed disaster declarations in Bennett, Custer, Fall River, Meade, Mellette and Jackson counties. A few more counties also are considering such resolutions.

Sanderson says to qualify for a federal disaster declaration, a county would have to show a 30 percent loss from normal production of a crop such as hay.

Sanderson says the most likely kind of assistance would be low-interest loans for farmers and ranchers hurt by grasshoppers.

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