Durbin Promises Federal Aid

In a meeting with Illinois farmers and farm officials, Senator Dick Durbin promised that federal aid would be available to farmers suffering from the ongoing Midwestern drought. Durbin also stressed the importance of the House and Senate coming together and passing a new farm bill.

For the past several months, much of the Midwest has been in the grip of an increasingly severe drought. States like Illinois and Indiana have experienced that hottest few months in more than 100 years and, with rainfall well below normal spring and summer averages, farmers across the region are worried about their crops.

With corn crops failing and with food prices expected to go up, Durbin has promised farmers and consumers to protect emergency farm programs and nutritional assistance. Durbin told farmers that emergency farm loans, with a 2.25 percent interest rate, were available for farmers needing help to make ends meet. He stressed that these loans would be particularly useful for farmers who do not have crop insurance.

The drought in Illinois is the worst the state has experienced in nearly 25 years.

Durbin also used the drought to urge the House of Representatives to pass the farm bill. Several drought and emergency aid programs that have currently expired would only be renewed if Congress passed a new bill, increasing the pressure to pass new legislation rather than extending the current farm bill.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer