Under new USDA rules announced on July 11th, a county automatically qualifies for a Secretarial Disaster Declaration once it is categorized by the U.S. Drought Monitor as being in a severe drought for eight or more consecutive weeks during the growing season. A formal request for the designation is no longer necessary.
As of August 15th, all 102 counties in Illinois have now been declared a Secretarial Disaster. Farmers who believe 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, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and applicant’s repayment ability.
Full State Disaster Request
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn requested a Secretarial Disaster Declaration for every county in Illinois, and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation wrote to support this request. Senator Durbin and other senators have now urged President Obama to create a federal Drought Task Force.
Letter from Secretary Vilsack (PDF, 99 KB)
Letter from Governor Quinn (PDF, 191 KB)
Letter of Congressional Support (PDF, 502 KB)
Federal Drought Task Force Request