Ill. farmers eligible for federal disaster aid

September 7, 2010 (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.)

The state Agriculture Department says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted Illinois' request to designate 55 counties as natural disaster areas. That designation qualifies growers in those counties and 37 contiguous ones for USDA help, including low-interest emergency loans.

The state's agriculture department says more than 21 inches of rain fell from April through July in Illinois. That's more than 5 inches above average, making that period this year the fourth-wettest on record in Illinois.

According to current estimates, 200,000 acres of corn and 50,000 acres of soybeans could be unharvestable this fall due in part to the soggy conditions.

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