SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Federal assistance is coming to farmers in central Illinois impacted by this year’s ongoing drought conditions.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that Fulton, Mason and Tazewell counties are eligible for federal disaster aid. Also eligible are counties contiguous to those, that includes Cass, Knox, Logan, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Peoria, Schuyler, Warren and Woodford counties

The drought disaster assistance has already been awarded to farmers in Randolph, Jackson, Monroe, Perry, St. Clair, Washington, Hancock, Adams, Calhoun and Pike counties, according to the federal Agriculture Department.

Added Jerry Costello II, who heads the Illinois Department of Agriculture: “I want to thank Governor JB Pritzker for working with Secretary Vilsack and the USDA to ensure our farmers have the resources they need to come back after a natural disaster.”

The move allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to provide emergency loans to producers recovering from natural disasters.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. Those eligible should contact their local USDA Service Center to ask questions or file a Notice of Loss.