SPRINGFIELD – September 22, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced federal disaster assistance is available to help Illinois farmers who suffered crop losses due to flooding this year.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted the Governor’s request to designate 46 Illinois counties as natural disaster areas. The designation qualifies farmers in those counties and 27 contiguous counties for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including low-interest emergency loans.
“Grain prices will help offset production losses for farmers who were fortunate enough to get a crop in the ground, but thousands of acres across Illinois were totally destroyed,” Governor Quinn said. “These loans will help farmers who weren’t able to plant this year’s crop by refinancing debt and covering production costs and essential family living expenses.”
The January to June period this year was the fourth-wettest on record. Precipitation totaled 27.2 inches - nearly eight inches more than normal. This includes a record 7.59 inches of rain in April, which delayed spring planting in much of the state and flooded an estimated 500,000 acres.
The 46 counties declared as primary disaster areas are:
Alexander, Brown, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Madison, Marion, McDonough, Mercer, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Schuyler, Scott, St. Clair, Stephenson, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson.
The 27 contiguous counties approved for disaster assistance include:
Adams, Bond, Bureau, Clark, Clinton, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Jasper, LaSalle, Macoupin, Mason, Massac, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Sangamon, Shelby, Stark, Warren, Whiteside and Winnebago.
Farmers who believe they may qualify for disaster assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. Staff in county Farm Service Agency offices can then verify whether producers are eligible for emergency funds. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and take into account the extent of production losses, available security and an applicant’s repayment ability. Farmers have eight months from the date of today’s declaration to apply for assistance.