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The entire state of Illinois is now eligible for drought relief following the announcement of federal disaster designation for 14 more counties.

The announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture drew praise from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who says the designation will help farmers and communities hurt by the drought.

Durbin, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and other Illinois members of Congress had asked that the whole state be eligible for emergency assistance.

The following counties received USDA primary disaster designation Wednesday: Bureau, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Henry, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Mercer, Putnam, Stark and Will.

Other Illinois counties received USDA contiguous county designation: Boone, Ford, Fulton, Henderson, Iroquois, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, McHenry, Marshall, Ogle, Peoria, Rock Island, Warren, Whiteside and Winnebago.

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