WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 87 counties in Illinois as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred during the period of June 1, 2015, and continues. Those counties are:

USDA Designates 87 Counties in Illinois as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Producers in Surrounding States

Contacts:
Latawnya Dia

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 87 counties in Illinois as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred during the period of June 1, 2015, and continues. Those counties are:

Adams

Fulton

Logan

Randolph

Alexander

Gallatin

McDonough

Richland

Bond

Greene

McLean

Rock Island

Brown

Grundy

Macon

St. Clair

Calhoun

Hamilton

Macoupin

Saline

Carroll

Hancock

Madison

Sangamon

Cass

Hardin

Marion

Schuyler

Champaign

Henderson

Marshall

Scott

Clark

Henry

Mason

Stark

Clay

Iroquois

Massac

Tazewell

Clinton

Jackson

Menard

Union

Crawford

Jasper

Mercer

Vermilion

Cumberland

Jefferson

Monroe

Wabash

DeKalb

Jersey

Montgomery

Warren

DeWitt

Johnson

Morgan

Washington

Douglas

Kane

Peoria

Wayne

DuPag

Kankakee

Perry

White

Edwards

Knox

Piatt

Whiteside

Effingham

La Salle

Pike

Will

Fayette

Lawrence

Pope

Williamson

Ford

Lee

Pulaski

Woodford

Franklin

Livingston

Putnam

 

“Our hearts go out to those Illinois farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling Illinois producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Illinois also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Boone

Cook

McHenry

Shelby

Bureau

Edgar

Moultrie

Stephenson

Christian

Jo Daviess

Ogle

Winnebago

Coles

Kendall

  

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Indiana

   

Benton

Knox

Newton

Sullivan

Vigo

Gibson

Lake

Posey

Vermillion

Warren

  

 

Iowa

   

Clinton

Jackson

Louisa

Scott

Des Moines

Lee

Muscatine

 

 

Kentucky

   

Ballard

Crittenden

Livingston

McCracken

Union

   

 

Missouri

  

Cape Girardeau

Marion

Saint Charles

Clark

Mississippi

Sainte Genevieve

Jefferson

Perry

Saint Louis

Lewis

Pike

Saint Louis City

Lincoln

Ralls

Scott

All counties and city listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Aug. 12, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the “Newsroom” link. WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that enrollment begins today for farmers and forest landowners seeking financial assistance for growing new sources of biomass for energy or biobased products within designated projects areas. The funds are available from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Biomass energy facilities or groups of producers may submit proposals for new BCAP project areas. Proposals will be accepted on www.grants.gov through Nov. 6, 2015. USDA will also allocate $7.7 million towards four existing BCAP project areas in New York, North Carolina, Ohio/Pennsylvania and Kansas/Oklahoma, targeting the establishment of an additional 10,500 acres of shrub willow, giant miscanthus, and switchgrass for energy. Project area sponsors include Chemtex International, Aloterra Energy LLC, Abengoa Biomass LLC and ReEnergy Holdings LLC. Farmers and forest landowners may enroll for biomass establishment and maintenance payments for these four sites through Sept. 25, 2015.

In June, USDA began accepting applications from foresters and farmers seeking financial assistance for removing biomass residues from fields or national forests for delivery to energy generation facilities; the deadline for those applications is Sept. 4, 2015. The retrieval payments are provided at a cost-share match of $1 for $1 up to $20 per dry ton with eligible crops including corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. The energy facility must first be approved by USDA to accept the biomass crop, and deliveries to the facilities can continue until Dec. 11, 2015.

The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes funding each year for the program to assist with the establishment and delivery of biomass for energy or biobased products. To date, BCAP has provided incentives for producers across more than 48,000 acres in 71 counties and 11 different project areas. For more information on the program or to enroll in updates, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/energy-programs/BCAP/index or contact your local FSA county office. To find your nearest FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing, and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visitwww.usda.gov/farmbill.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).