The state’s agricultural leaders say there is a role for elected officials to play during the current drought.
Phil Nelson is a Lasalle County farmer. He’s also the president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, a job that keeps him busy out of the fields, dealing with politicians and other policy makers. Nelson met Sunday with Senator Dick Durbin, showing him the damage to the corn crop. He’ll be with the Governor in southern Illinois today.
Nelson admits there’s only so much elected officials can do… but he has a couple of suggestions…
NELSON “I think there first of all has to be an awareness of what the ag community is going through. I think secondly, is to look at areas they can streamline.”
Nelson says that would include cutting red tape for low interest loans and moving some set aside acreage back into production so livestock producers can have herds grazing there. He says the federal government has already started some of that process, declaring 26 Illinois counties as crop disaster areas. Nelson says while many are comparing this year to 1988’s drought, he believes the current situation is worse. He says the subsoil moisture is lower than it was at that time.