Gov. Pat Quinn sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday, requesting that most Illinois counties be declared disaster areas because of a record-breaking drought this summer. A drought designation would bestow some federal grants and loans to these counties.
PI reported last week that 26 of 102 counties are already declared disaster areas. The drought has had a devastating effect on the state's corn crop, according to a USDA report from this month.