Southern Ill. counties to get disaster aid for early April freeze

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Alexander and Union counties in Southern Illinois were included in 81 counties eligible for federal disaster assistance to help farmers recover from the early April freeze that severely damaged some crops.

The declaration qualifies farmers in the counties for U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance programs including emergency loans, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said in a statement. Low temperatures across the region caused heavy crop damage, especially for budding fruit trees and winter wheat. Blagojevich said reports indicate the peach crop, a $13 millon industry in Illinois, could be a total loss and that damage to wheat crops could be $30 million statewide.

The disaster loans can pay production costs for replanting damaged wheat fields with another crop as well as refinance existng debt and cover essential living expenses. Farmers seeking the assistance should contact their county's Farm Service Agency offices.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: