State Rep. Jack Franks issued the following news release on Monday:
WOODSTOCK – In response to calls for assistance from local farmers, state Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) submitted a request to Gov. Pat Quinn asking him to urge U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to add McHenry County to a recent multi-state drought disaster declaration.
“While southern Illinois farmers are facing the prospect of complete crop losses due to drought conditions, McHenry County farmers are also dealing with extremely dry conditions with no end in sight,” said Franks. “I will continue to work with the agricultural community and state officials to bring attention to the difficulties facing our local farmers.”
More than 1,000 counties in 26 states, including several in southern Illinois, have been declared natural-disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to drought conditions. As of this past weekend, according to the National Weather Service, McHenry County is now in a severe drought as well. The disaster designation makes available low-interest loans to cover crop losses and other governmental assistance to farmers struggling with the adverse growing conditions.
“The only real remedy – plentiful rainfall – may be out of our control, but taking action to support farmers in northern Illinois will help them weather the severe drought conditions,” continued Franks.
According to the Northwest Herald, northern Illinois faces a deficit of four to six inches of rain. Based on local data comparisons, much of McHenry County is between 50 and 75 percent of normal precipitation. The average stream flow for parts of the Fox River is almost 60 percent below the June average, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
For more information, please contact Franks’ constituent service office at (815) 334-0063.