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Illinois governor announces help for drought stricken farms : Stltoday


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday visited a drought-parched farm in Waltonville, about 80 miles east of St. Louis, where he announced an expanded call for federal disaster relief and several state assistance programs to help farmers cope with crop losses.

Quinn announced that he had requested federal aid for seven additional counties, bringing the total number of Illinois counties to 33.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois’ economy, and as we’ve seen today, severe drought conditions are devastating crop production throughout the state,” Quinn said. “As the drought continues, we are committed to using all the tools we have to help impacted farmers and communities bounce back.”

Quinn also said the Illinois Finance Authority will partner with local banks to launch four programs that will offer loan guarantees and low-interest terms.

The Governor announced a new website – Drought.Illinois.gov – that will serve as an information hub for drought information, including a hay directory that will help producers find hay for livestock.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this month called for federal disaster declarations in all of the state’s counties, and last week both the state’s senators urged U.S Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack to act on Nixon’s request.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday it would be sending department officials to rural communities across the country to help farmers affected by the weather.


Read more from Georgina Gustin, who covers food, agriculture and biotech for the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @georgina_gustin and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.

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