Illinois prepares to celebrate agriculture amid deep drought
SPRINGFIELD – Corn dogs, music, animals and maybe a blue ribbon or two could be just what Illinois farmers need right now.
The State Fair officially opens Friday for what is, at heart, still a celebration of Illinois agriculture. But this year's fair comes amid a historic drought that has scorched corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest, delivering a painful financial blow to many farmers.
Officials say they don't expect the drought to keep many farm families away or affect the quality of the produce they submit for judging, from corn to tomatoes to peaches. In fact, they say, farmers may welcome a break.
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