Indianapolis – In a letter sent earlier this week to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, Governor Mike Pence requested a secretarial disaster declaration for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties due to 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 farmers,” said Governor Pence. “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.”
In 50 counties, reported crop damage and losses have met or exceeded 30 percent of a crop, and three counties have experienced a significant number of damages and losses to multiple crops. Under a disaster designation, low-interest emergency loans will be made available to all producers suffering losses in that county, as well as in counties contiguous to a disaster-designated county.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Secretary of Agriculture in Indiana, and Julia A. Wickard, Indiana FSA State Executive Director, joined the Governor in signing the letter.
“The record-setting rainfall this summer throughout much of Indiana has caused many Hoosier farmers to experience significant crops losses,” said Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. “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.”
“It is important this request is a joint effort by the state and federal government, and I appreciate the working relationship we have in the State of Indiana,” said Julia A. Wickard, Indiana FSA State Executive Director.
Hoosier farmers are encouraged to continue to submit crop damage reports to their county FSA offices as the disaster event is ongoing and continued monitoring is necessary to determine if additional counties should be added to the declaration request.