Six Illinois counties receive disaster declaration stemming from May hailstorm

CHAMPAIGN--  Champaign County is one of six Illinois counties that could be in line for some federal assistance after a May hailstorm destroyed much of its strawberry crop.
Champaign County, Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, and Iroquois all received Federal Disaster Declarations on Thursday.  The declaration will make them eligible for federal disaster assistance this year.
“The damage from this storm was isolated, but severe,” Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider said.  “The low-interest, emergency loans the disaster declaration triggers could help farmers who are suffering cash flow problems because of crop losses.  They can be used to pay not only production expenses, but also family living expenses.”
The hailstorm didn’t affect corn and soybean crops, but with the strawberry crop ready to mature in the spring, it was heavily damaged, Flider added.
Farmers who suffered crop loss will now have eight months to apply for disaster assistance.