Home Indiana Agriculture News Indiana Congressional Delegation Adds Support to Holcomb Disaster Request

Indiana Congressional Delegation Adds Support to Holcomb Disaster Request

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U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Representative Larry Bucshon M.D. (R-IN-08), and members of the Indiana delegation have sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in strong support of a Secretarial disaster designation in 88 counties following adverse weather conditions in Indiana. The letter follows the recent request from Governor Eric Holcomb, Lieutenant Governor Crouch and the Indiana USDA State Emergency Board.

“Indiana farmers experienced prolonged rains for the 2019 spring season, affecting their ability to plant corn and soybeans in a timely fashion before crop insurance deadlines passed. This adverse weather caused many farmers to file prevented planting claims and those able to plant will inevitably face a shortened growing season with decreased yields at harvest time.

“To that end, 88 counties are requesting a disaster designation from the Secretary of Agriculture based on unplanted fields, damage and losses of at least 30% of a single crop caused by excessive rain, flooding and/or a significant number of affected producers. The crop losses were attributed to heavy precipitation that resulted in difficulties accessing fields, negative impacts on plant growth and emergence, and will have long-lasting market implications,” said the letter.

In addition to Senator Young, Senator Braun and Representative Bucshon, the letter was also signed by the entire Indiana delegation including Representatives Pete Visclosky (D-IN-01), Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02), Susan W. Brooks (R-IN-05), André Carson (D-IN-07), Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN-09), Jim Banks (R-IN-03), James R. Baird (R-IN-04), and Greg Pence (R-IN-06).

The full text of the letter:

The Honorable Sonny Perdue

Secretary

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20250

Dear Secretary Perdue,

We write to you today to express our fervent support of the joint request from Governor Holcomb, Lieutenant Governor Crouch and the Indiana USDA State Emergency Board for a Secretarial disaster designation in 88 counties of the State of Indiana. 

Indiana farmers experienced prolonged rains for the 2019 spring season, affecting their ability to plant corn and soybeans in a timely fashion before crop insurance deadlines passed. This adverse weather caused many farmers to file prevented planting claims and those able to plant will inevitably face a shortened growing season with decreased yields at harvest time. To that end, 88 counties are requesting a disaster designation from the Secretary of Agriculture based on unplanted fields, damage and losses of at least 30% of a single crop caused by excessive rain, flooding and/or a significant number of affected producers. The crop losses were attributed to heavy precipitation that resulted in difficulties accessing fields, negative impacts on plant growth and emergence, and will have long-lasting market implications.

The Indiana delegation strongly supports this joint request for a Secretarial disaster designation, as this will provide struggling farmers access to critical tools that enhance risk management strategies throughout the growing season. We also urge favorable consideration for any future efforts to provide continuous coverage to the additional four counties not included in the original request. The availability of emergency loans through this designation will help alleviate the financial and economic burden caused by extreme weather and will in turn strengthen our rural communities. We hope you will support this effort to mitigate the immediate and long-term effects of planting hardship in Indiana. We ask for your favorable consideration of this request, and eagerly await your response.