U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren joined the Illinois delegation and Gov. Pat Quinn in requesting a Secretarial Disaster Declaration to help Illinois farmers, families, and communities affected by the current drought.
Because declarations of this kind are made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the request will go to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack rather than President Obama.
The letter states, “Agricultural producers in Illinois are experiencing significant losses due to a persistent, unprecedented, statewide heat and drought. The Illinois Department of Agriculture and representatives of the Farm Service Agency in Illinois are working to expedite assistance to Illinois farmers affected by these weather events.”
On Monday, the Illinois Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS-IL) issued a report that two-thirds of the state’s corn is considered to be in poor or very poor condition, with only 7 percent in good condition and none in excellent condition.
“Our farmers can’t wait any longer,” said Rep. Hultgren. “A few Illinois counties have received designations so far, but it’s time to designate all areas of Illinois currently experiencing this devastating drought.”