The effect of drought and high temperatures on the state’s crops has moved Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to ask the federal government to declare Virginia a statewide agricultural disaster area.

The designation means qualifying farmers would be eligible for low-interest loans and supplemental relief, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

This is the first time Virginia has asked for such a designation, according to the statement.

More than 70 of the state’s 95 counties have asked for or been granted drought disaster status by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More information is available through local Farm Service Agency offices or at