Congresswoman Cheri Bustos continues to urge the USDA to issue a statewide agricultural disaster declaration. She says farmers are being hit with a double whammy—a late planting season caused by a wet spring plus ongoing trade issues. Bustos first reached out to US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue last month. “The purpose of my call was to say: Our farmers are hurting,” Bustos said. “We would like a disaster declaration. We also wanted to make sure he understood the sense of urgency on the trade agreement.” Bustos has held discussions with farmers across her district this spring and summer, including Whiteside County, Henry County, Mercer County, and Rock Island County. During those conversations, Bustos says farmers have expressed to her that conditions are the worst they have ever seen.