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Disaster relief available for Illinois farmers

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some farmers may be eligible for disaster relief due to bad weather.
Some farmers may be eligible for disaster relief due to bad weather.

Recently officials in Illinois announced that funds from federal disaster relief programs will be available to the state's farmers, who may have not been able to get their farm equipment out in the fields because of heavy rains.

After a request from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has labeled 58 counties - along with another 30 contiguous counties - in the state as disaster areas. As a result of the declaration, farmers in those areas will be eligible for low-interest loans, which could help them pay off debts on farm equipment.

"The loans that this declaration triggers will help those farmers who weren’t able to plant a crop," Quinn said. "They can be used not only to pay production costs, but also to refinance existing debt and cover essential family living expenses."

According to the state, the months of April through July saw 20.94 inches of precipitation, which is 4.74 inches above the average amount. That time span marks the ninth wettest since the state began keeping records.

Recently, the USDA reported that net farm incomes are expected to fall by 30 percent this year. Net farm income is expected to be down by $29.4 billion, which is $9 billion lower than the 10-year average.
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