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:

Adams   Cumberland   Iroquois   Madison   Sangamon
Bond   Edwards   Jasper   Marion   Schuyler
Brown   Effingham   Jefferson   Mason   Scott
Calhoun   Fayette   Jersey   McDonough   Stark
Carroll   Fulton   Jo Daviess   Menard   Stephenson
Cass   Greene   Kankakee   Mercer   Vermilion
Christian   Grundy   Knox   Montgomery   Warren
Clark   Hamilton   Livingston   Morgan   Wayne
Clinton   Hancock   Logan   Pike   White
Cook   Henderson   Macon   Randolph   Will
Crawford   Henry   Macoupin   Rock Island   Winnebago

The 37 contiguous counties approved for disaster assistance include:

Boone   Du Page   La Salle   Moultrie   Shelby
Bureau   Edgar   Lake   Ogle   St. Clair
Champaign   Ford   Lawrence   Peoria   Tazewell
Clay   Franklin   Marshall   Perry   Wabash
Coles   Gallatin   McHenry   Piatt   Washington
De Kalb   Jackson   McLean   Richland   Whiteside
De Witt   Kane   Monroe   Saline   Woodford
Douglas   Kendall

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.


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