INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced today that the state is requesting an agricultural disaster designation for 88 counties — including Clark and Floyd — due to losses caused by flooding and excessive rain this planting season.
“Heavy and persistent rainfall has saturated fields across the state, hurting Indiana crops and our farmers,” Holcomb said in a news release. “As I continue to monitor this situation, Hoosier farmers can rest assured that we will keep a close eye on the long-term effects of these relentless rains.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data shows that the past 12 months have been the wettest on record in the United States. A USDA disaster designation can be requested when at least 30 percent of one crop is damaged or lost in a county. Of the state’s 92 counties, 88 counties have reported data meeting that threshold.
The designation would allow emergency low-interest loans to be made available to farmers. The low-interest financing can also be made to counties contiguous to counties in the disaster zone.
“The reality is that this has been one of the toughest seasons on record for farmers in Indiana and across much of the Midwest,” said Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler in a news release. “I commend Governor Holcomb and Indiana FSA Director Brown and his staff for recognizing the difficult situation farmers are facing and for working to make options available to them.”
Indiana's request for the designation was made today in a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and signed by Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Indiana Farm Service Agency Executive Director Steven Brown.
The only counties not included in the request are Shelby, Benton, Rush and Warren counties.