The streak of hot and dry days has continued into the month of August, prompting the United States Department of Agriculture to add more than 218 counties to the government's list of disaster areas due to drought conditions. Included in that addition were the Metro-East counties of Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Monroe, Randolph and Washington.

The list now includes 98 of Illinois' 102 counties as the dry weather has stunted much of the crop development areas across the state.  A total of 1,584 counties in 32 states have been given this designation because of drought conditions across the nation. Farmers and ranchers who are suffering losses may be eligible to recieve federal aid and they are directed to contact their county Farm Service Agency offices.

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