Durbin, Kirk Announce Federal Disaster Declaration In Six Eastern Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared six counties in Eastern Illinois federal disaster areas following severe hail storms on May 21st that damaged the region’s strawberry crop. Today’s declaration ensures that farmers in Vermilion, Champaign, Douglas, Edgar, Ford and Iroquois counties will be eligible to apply for loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), a division of the USDA.


“Today’s federal disaster declaration will help Illinois farmers whose strawberry crops were destroyed by severe, powerful hail early this summer. This declaration will give a helping hand to farmers whose crops are wiped out due to extreme weather and forces outside their control,” Durbin said. 


"Having seen firsthand the damage a natural disaster can cause families and farmers in a small town, I applaud the Department of Agriculture for making this opportunity available to our Illinois farmers," Senator Kirk said. "This declaration will provide needed economic relief to those whose strawberry crops were affected by May's hail storm."

Though the storm severely damaged strawberry fields, farmers are eligible to apply for loans no matter what crop they grow. Farmers in the affected counties will have eight months to apply for emergency loans from the FSA. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.