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26 Illinois Counties Hit By Drought Can Get Aid

Farmers in 26 counties in southern Illinois can apply for drought-related disaster relief.

Under new rules announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, those counties automatically qualify for a disaster designation. No formal declaration is necessary.

The criteria include severe drought conditions for eight or more consecutive weeks during the growing season.

Bob Flider, the acting director of the Illinois Agriculture Department, says farmers in the more than two dozen affected counties may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

They should contact their county Farm Service Agency office.

The state agencies that make up Illinois' Drought Response Task Force met Wednesday to discuss recommendations and assistance for those hurt by the dry, hot weather.

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