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Drought-Related Disaster in Illinois

Rich Egger

All counties in Illinois have  been designated as “primary disaster areas” due to drought.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the designations came at the request of Governor Pat Quinn and  because of a national drought monitor that shows lack of rain plaguing the entire state. All counties have been affected by drought  for  at least the past eight weeks.

The designations mean all Illinois farmers are eligible for emergency loans from the federal government.

“Our farmers and ranchers around the country are a resilient bunch,” said Vilsack. “While it's a good deal of stress, they're not daunted or overwhelmed by this challenge. They're going to get through it with the help of their friends and neighbors and the help of USDA and other  federal agencies.”

Vilsack is calling on the US House of Representatives  to finish work on the Food, Farm and Jobs bill to help plan for the coming year:

He said the federal government has exhausted virtually all immediate tools in drought assistance.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio