Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday 77 Illinois counties will receive disaster relief aid after a summer of excessive heat, drought and crop losses.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the request and designated 44 Illinois counties as natural disaster areas.
Illinois was well below-average in rainfall totals from July to September affecting crop production. In conjunction, temperatures were higher than usual, averaging 4.1 degrees higher than normal.
"Illinois is home to some of the best crops in the world, and this year was especially tough for our farmers," Quinn said in a statement. "These loans will help those farmers refinance debt, cover protection costs, and pay essential family living expenses."
The drought was most severe in counties located in west-central Illinois.