FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
September 7, 2010
Declaration will assist farmers in 92 Illinois counties
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) today announced federal disaster assistance is available to help Illinois farmers who suffered crop losses because of excessive rain and flooding this year.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted the state's request to designate 55 Illinois counties as natural disaster areas. The designation qualifies farmers in those counties and 37 contiguous counties for USDA assistance, including low-interest emergency loans.
"While the latest USDA Crop Production Report forecasts near-record yields for the Illinois corn and bean crops, damage assessments show some farmers may have suffered production losses because of heavy rains this spring and summer," IDOA Director Tom Jennings said. "The loans this declaration triggers will help those farmers who don't have a crop to harvest this fall. They can be used not only to pay production costs, but also to refinance existing debt and cover essential family living expenses."
The period from April through July this year is the fourth wettest on record in Illinois. Precipitation totaled 21.63 inches, or 5.43 inches above average.
Current estimates indicate 200,000 acres of corn and 50,000 acres of beans could be unharvestable this fall due in part to the extremely wet conditions. The corn crop currently is forecast to yield a record-tying 180 bushels an acre, which means as many as 36 million bushels of corn may have been lost due to flooding. The potential soybean losses total 2.45 million bushels, based on a projected near-record yield of 49 bushels an acre.
The 55 counties declared as primary disaster areas are:
The 37 contiguous counties approved for disaster assistance include:
Farmers who believe they may qualify for disaster assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. Farm Service Agency staff can verify whether producers have crops that are eligible for emergency funds. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the extent of losses, available security and an applicant's repayment ability. The deadline to submit loan applications under this disaster declaration is May 2, 2011.