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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2011

Governor Quinn’s Announces Agricultural Disaster Declaration Approved
Farmers in 77 Illinois Counties Will Receive Assistance

CHICAGO – November 2, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the Governor’s request for disaster aid to help Illinois farmers who suffered crop losses this year because of drought and excessive heat. Governor Quinn asked the USDA to designate 44 Illinois counties as natural disaster areas. The designation qualifies farmers in those counties and 33 contiguous counties for federal assistance that includes low-interest emergency loans.

“Illinois is home to some of the best crops in the world, and this year was especially tough for our famers,” Governor Quinn said. “After battling spring flooding, many farmers in these counties lost their crops to drought in the following months. These loans will help those farmers refinance debt, cover production costs, and pay essential family living expenses.”

After an extremely wet spring, Illinois recorded significantly below-average rainfall totals across the middle third of the state from July to September - key months for crop development. The drought was most severe in west-central Illinois, which received just 4.46 inches of rain, or nearly seven inches less than normal. Rainfall deficits of two to four inches were common in other parts of central Illinois, according to the Illinois State Water Survey.

In addition, temperatures during this period were extremely high. During July alone, the statewide average temperature was 79.9 degrees, 4.1 degrees higher than normal and the fourth warmest July on record.

The 44 counties declared as primary disaster areas are:

Adams
Brown
Champaign
Christian
Clark
Clay
Clinton
Crawford
Cumberland
Douglas
Edgar
Edwards
Effingham
Fayette
Ford
Franklin
Fulton
Gallatin
Hamilton
Hancock
Hardin
Henry
Iroquois
Jasper
Jefferson
Johnson
Knox
Lawrence
Macon
Marion
Massac
McDonough
McLean
Morgan
Piatt
Pope
Richland
Rock Island
Saline
Shelby
Vermilion
Wabash
Wayne
Williamson

The 33 contiguous counties approved for disaster assistance include:

Bond
Bureau
Cass
Coles
DeWitt
Greene
Henderson
Jackson
Kankakee
Livingston
Logan
Macoupin
Madison
Mason
Mercer
Montgomery
Moultrie
Peoria
Perry
Pike
Pulaski
Sangamon
Schuyler
Scott
St. Clair
Stark
Tazewell
Union
Warren
Washington
White
Whiteside
Woodford

Farmers who believe they may qualify for disaster assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office which will 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 the declaration to apply for assistance.



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