Agriculture producers in the Rio Grande Valley can now receive federal assistance for losses suffered during last month’s winter storm, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

This comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a disaster designation for 23 counties, including the four that comprise the Rio Grande Valley — Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy.

The designation allows local producers to apply for federal aid, including emergency loans, Abbott said in a news release Wednesday,

“I thank Secretary Vilsack and our partners at the USDA for granting this designation to these 23 counties,” Abbott said, noting he requested the designation in February. “This designation will provide crucial assistance to our agricultural producers as they continue to recover from the severe winter storm.”

Other counties eligible to receive aid include Duval, McLennan, Webb, Zapata, Bell, Bosque, Brooks, Coryell, Dimmit, Falls, Hill, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, La Salle, Limestone, Live Oak, McMullen and Maverick.

“I encourage all producers who were impacted by the severe winter storm to continue working with the USDA to ensure assistance is available to all eligible producers in our state,” the governor said.