Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack urging USDA to grant a disaster declaration for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties impacted by excessive rainfall. Donnelly wrote the letter in strong support of the joint request from Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann along with Executive Director of Indiana’s Farm Service Agency Julia Wickard.
Donnelly wrote, “Much of Indiana has experienced excessive and prolonged rainfall, beginning in May and continuing to fall at record-breaking rates through the present. The extreme levels of rain have caused irreparable damage to planted fields and rendered others unplantable throughout the state… Thousands of farmers in Indiana are going to experience significant financial losses this year and this will be a particularly difficult time for young and limited resource farmers. I would appreciate your immediate and favorable consideration of a disaster declaration for these counties so that resources can be made available to help deal with these crops losses.”
Donnelly’s letter comes after he visited Merritt Farm in early July in Peru, Indiana, to get a first-hand view of the effect excess rain is having on crops and farmers.
To read the full text of the letter to Secretary Vilsack click here.