Dear Mr. President:
We write to support Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's request for a Secretarial Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for eligible counties in Illinois as a result of the significant damage done to crops by excessive rainfall since June 1, 2015.
Since June 1, excessive rainfall has caused significant damage to Illinois' crops. At an average of 9.37 inches statewide, June was the second-wettest month on record in Illinois after a statewide average of 9.62 inches in September 1926. Farmers in Illinois have been unable to complete the planting of their crops. For example, only three days in the past week were suitable for fieldwork. This week the USDA released a report showing more than half the state's soybean and 45 percent of the corn crop were in poor to fair condition. Crop yields in affected areas are projected to be considerably lower this year. The Governor seeks timely federal assistance from the USDA.
Governor Rauner has determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and local governments and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary. On behalf of affected Illinois farmers, we respectfully request that you issue a Secretarial Disaster Declaration and that USDA disaster loans and emergency funding be offered to eligible counties that have been hurt by these catastrophic weather events.
We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this important request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate.