Disaster declaration request made for more than 50 counties after wet spring and summer

Staff Report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, Gov. Mike Pence sent a letter to U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack requesting a secretarial disaster declaration for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

The request comes after crop damage and losses caused by flooding and excessive rain since May 1 of this year.

“Recent and unprecedented heavy rainfall across our state has had a significant impact on the yield of Indiana crops and our Hoosier families,” Pence said. “As promised, our administration has been closely monitoring this situation and, in coordination with the Indiana Farm Service Agency, has determined federal emergency loan assistance is both prudent and warranted. Hoosier farmers can be assured that we will continue to keep a close eye on the long-term effects of this year’s heavy rains and, as needed, work to identify additional help for those in our state’s agriculture industry.”

Crop damages and losses have met or exceeded 30 percent of a crop in 50 counties. Three counties have experienced a significant number of damages and losses to multiple crops. Under a disaster designation, low-interest emergency loans are made available to producers suffering losses in that county.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Indiana Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Julia A. Wickard joined Pence in signing the letter.

“The record-setting rainfall this summer throughout much of Indiana has caused many Hoosier farmers to experience significant crops losses,” Ellspermann said. “Fields are flooded by overflowing streams or covered by standing water from drenching rain.  We are very grateful for the strong cooperation of the Farm Service Administration in expediting this special secretarial disaster declaration request.”

Farmers are encouraged to continue to submit crop damage reports to their county FSA offices as the disaster event is ongoing.

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