The U.S Department of Agriculture has declared nearly all of Illinois a disaster area because of the drought and excessive heat.
Federal disaster assistance is now available to help farmers in 98 of Illinois’ 102 counties, that includes all counties in Central Illinois.
Farmers who think they may be eligible for the assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. Loan applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider said the yield losses being projected could cause farmers cash flow problems and the low interest, emergency loans would help them recover. The funds can be used on production and living expenses.
The USDA said in this week’s crop report that 71 percent of the corn crop and 56 percent of the soybean crop is in poor or very poor condition.
According to the Illinois Water Survey, precipitation in Illinois average 12.6 inches in the first six months of the year, making it the sixth driest on record. Topsoil moisture in Illinois is rated 85 percent very short and 15 percent short of moisture.
More than half of all counties in the U.S have been declared disaster areas by the USDA because of the drought.
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