SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Four separate disaster declarations were designated for the Illinois due to tornadoes and drought that occurred during the 2023 Illinois growing season.
The disaster declarations were issued by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed loss assessment reports and determined there were sufficient production losses to warrant a secretarial natural disaster designation.
The following counties have received USDA disaster designations — primary and contiguous counties are eligible for the same assistance:
• Designation No. 1 — A tornado that occurred during March 31. Primary counties: Bureau, Clark and Crawford. Contiguous counties: Coles, Henry, Lawrence, Putnam, Stark, Cumberland, Jasper, Lee, Richland, Whiteside, Edgar, La Salle and Marshall.
• Designation No. 2 — A tornado that occurred during April 4. Primary county: Fulton. Contiguous counties: Knox, Mason, Schuyler, Warren, McDonough, Peoria and Tazewell.
• Designation No. 3 — Tornados and high winds that occurred during March 31 to April 5: Primary counties: Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Sangamon. Contiguous counties: Bureau, Knox, Menard, Stark, Cass, Logan, Montgomery, Warren, Christian, Macon, Morgan, Whiteside, Henderson and Macoupin.
• Designation No. 4 — Drought: Primary county: Randolph. Contiguous counties: Jackson, Monroe, Perry, St. Clair and Washington.
Hancock, Adams, Calhoun and Pike counties were included in a previous drought designation as contiguous counties included in a Missouri disaster designation.
“Our Illinois farmers are resilient, facing uncertain weather conditions year after year,” said Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture director.
“I want to thank Gov. J.B. 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.”
A secretarial natural disaster designation allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to provide emergency loans to producers recovering from natural disasters. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. Those eligible should contact their local USDA Service Center to ask questions or file a notice of loss.