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Angie Peltier

Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture

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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Figure. US Drought Monitor map released July 26th, 2012. Drought designations depend upon color: brick red = exceptional drought, D4; red = extreme drought, D3; orange = severe drought, D2; tan = moderate drought, D1.

Federal and State Programs to Help Livestock and Crop Producers

State and Federal Government Agencies have taken action to help alleviate some of the drought-related hardships that livestock and grain producers are experiencing. These include disaster recovery loans offered by the state of Illinois' Treasurers Office, the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) releasing certain conservation reserve program lands for emergency haying and grazing, and the USDA FSA Emergency Conservation Program water cost-sharing program.

My colleague, Teresa Steckler, Commercial Agriculture Livestock Educator, forwarded the following news release from Mr. Dan Rutherford, Illinois State Treasurer:

Disaster Recovery Loans

As Illinois farmers endure one of the harshest summer droughts in years, Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is encouraging agricultural professionals to consider low-interest disaster recovery loans that are made possible with funding from the Treasurer's Office.

"I offer my sympathies to all Illinois farmers who are so desperately in need of rain and I want to remind them of help that is available through my office. Farmers whose crops have been reduced or even completely destroyed by drought may need assistance – these loans can even bridge the gap until insurance checks come through," said Rutherford. "I want every victim of this drought to know what help is available."

These "Disaster Recovery" loans allow home, business and farm owners to secure below-market rates with participating financial institutions for up to the first five years of a loan. The maximum interest rate ranges from 2.20% - 2.89% depending on length of term between one and five years. Loans are available to qualified borrowers who need help covering immediate costs that will eventually be covered by insurance (bridge loans), and to help cover costs if there is no insurance. The interest is low because the Treasurer's Office "buys down" the interest rate by depositing money at a discounted rate into an eligible financial institution.

Many financial institutions across the state have agreed to partner with the Treasurer's Office to make these low-interest loans available. For more information, or to find an electronic version of the "Disaster Recovery" application, go to or call the Disaster Recovery Hotline at 866-523-0641.


Emergency Haying and Grazing on CRP Land

For those of you that have experienced significant drought-related losses to pasture lands, the USDA has released Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in every Illinois county for emergency haying between August 2nd and 31st and grazing between August 2nd and September 30th.

It is important to request approval from your county FSA office before haying or grazing these lands. For more details, read the Illinois Farm Service Agency Emergency Haying and Grazing Handout. To contact your county FSA office, visit the Illinois FSA county office website.

Cost-sharing to Help Meet Livestock Water Needs

The Illinois State FSA Executive Director, Ms. Scherrie Giamanco and Mr. Donald King, FSA Chief Program Specialist, recently issued a news release regarding cost sharing for livestock water in certain counties particularly hard hit by the drought.

If you are interested in applying for livestock water cost-sharing assistance, look into whether your county is currently in this 'Extreme Drought – D3" designation on the IL-county-specific US Drought Monitor Map. The most recent map of Illinois, released July 26, 2012, shows that in the Western Illinois region D3 designated counties include Hancock, McDonough, Fulton, Tazewell, Woodford and many counties East and South (Figure). Other counties in the Northwestern corner of Illinois with D3 designation include Whiteside, Carroll, Jo Daviess and Stephenson Counties.

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