USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has issued a disaster declaration for Fulton, Mason and Tazewell counties for drought that took place during this year’s Illinois growing season.

Counties bordering Fulton, Mason and Tazewell counties are also eligible for assistance. These counties include Cass, Knox, Logan, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Peoria, Schuyler, Warren and Woodford. Randolph, Jackson, Monroe, Perry, St. Clair, Washington, Hancock, Adams, Calhoun and Pike previously received a drought disaster designation for the 2023 growing season.

“While we are seeing improvement in drought conditions across the state, we know that crops and livestock have been impacted,” said Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II.I want to thank Governor JB Pritzker for working with Secretary Vilsack and the USDA to ensure our farmers have the resources they need to come back after a natural disaster.”

This disaster designation allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to provide emergency loans to producers who are recovering from natural disasters, including FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration, August 15, 2023, to apply for emergency loans. Click here to find USDA service centers throughout the state.