CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has declared several counties in Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana a disaster area after a spring hail storm ruined area strawberry crops.
Gov. Pat Quinn announced the declaration in a news release Thursday. It applies to Vermilion, Champaign, Douglas, Edgar, Ford and Iroquois counties in Illinois and Benton, Vermillion and Warren counties in Indiana.
The area's strawberry crop was reaching maturing when the May 21 hail storm hit and destroyed the entire crop.
Illinois' crop is located primarily in Vermilion county. The federal disaster declaration extends to contiguous counties.
The declaration allows farmers who suffered losses to apply for low-interest loans from the U.S Department of Agriculture.
The storm didn't have a big impact on the area's corn and soybeans.
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