Illinois governor calling on congress to step up drought relief

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 6:08 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 12:28 AM

WALTONVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – As one of the worst droughts ever has settled over the Midwest, crop damage for farmers is close to an all-time high, particularly in southern Illinois.

Because of this, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is touring farms and communities and has a plan for providing relief.

“This is the driest time on record,” he said. “[It’s] never been this hot.”

Governor Quinn is calling this a crisis. One area in southern Illinois reports it has not gotten rain since June 11, and it’s causing immense crop damage.

“I want congress to take immediate action,” Quinn said.

Quinn wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer assistance to 33 counties in the state; seven more than the 26 already determined to be eligible last week.

They’re also partnering with local banks to create programs for even more help.

The Illinois Farm Bureau says it's the six driest year on record so far. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering. Farm officials say southern Illinois is getting the worst of it.

Meanwhile drought continues to affect much of the Midwest, where almost a third of the nation's corn crop has been damaged by heat and drought so severe that some farmers have cut down crops midway through the growing season.

 

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