The federal government has designated parts of far western Kentucky and all of Illinois as natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by extreme weather, including excessive moisture, flooding and flash flooding that occurred starting Sept. 1, 2018, into this summer.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue confirmed the disaster designation in a response to Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker's June 28 request for agricultural disaster aid to address Illinois crop production losses.

As a result of Purdue's disaster designation for Illinois, the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act requires counties in other states adjacent to the primary designated state to be included in the designation. Purdue's designation includes all 102 Illinois counties and five Kentucky counties (Ballard, Crittenden, Livingston, McCracken, Union). In addition, the designation for Illinois includes counties in Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.

In a letter to Pritzker, Purdue said a secretarial designation makes farm operators eligible to be considered for certain assistance, including emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Kentucky farmers interested in an emergency loan should contact the USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center in Graves County at 1000 Commonwealth Drive, Mayfield, phone 270-247-9525.

In Massac County, the nearest FSA service center office is at 807 N. First St. in Vienna, phone 618-658-3411, ext. 2.

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