Extreme weather conditions in Illinois during the 2023 growing season caused significant losses for many farmers in the state, now a natural disaster has been declared to help growers get some assistance.

Drought and Tornadoes Biggest Factors in Ag Losses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary has declared four national disaster areas in the state of Illinois after reports showed "sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation."

USDA Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack declared the following natural disaster areas:

Designation 1: A tornado that occurred during March 31, 2023:

Primary Counties: Bureau, Clark & Crawford
Contiguous Counties: Coles, Henry, Lawrence, Putnam, Stark, Cumberland, Jasper, Lee, Richland, Whiteside, Edgar, LaSalle & Marshall

Designation Number 2: A tornado that occurred during April 4, 2023:

Primary County: Fulton
Contiguous Counties: Knox, Mason, Schuyler, Warren, McDonough, Peoria & Tazewell

Designation Number 3: Tornados and high winds that occurred during March 31, 2023, through April 5, 2023:

Primary Counties: Henry, Mercer, Rock Island & Sangamon
Contiguous Counties: Bureau, Knox, Menard, Stark, Cass, Logan, Montgomery, Warren,
Christian, Macon, Morgan, Whiteside, Henderson & Macoupin

Designation Number 4: Drought

Primary County: Randolph
Contiguous Counties: Jackson, Monroe, Perry, St. Clair & Washington
Our Illinois farmers are resilient, facing uncertain weather conditions year after year. 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. -Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director
Farmers in these counties have 8 months from the date of disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. To see if you're eligible, CLICK HERE.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5