WELLS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Last week, Governor Pence asked the US Agriculture Secretary to declare a disaster area for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties. This is because of the massive crop damage and loss we’ve experienced this summer from near-record rainfall. Allen, Wells, Huntington. Kosciusko, Wabash, Grant, Blackford, and Jay counties are included in those 53.
If the Agriculture Secretary agrees, low or no interest emergency loans would be available to producers suffering in the counties that have lost more than 30 percent of a particular crop. This is will help farmers cover the cost of next season, since they have to buy seed, fertilizer, equipment, etc. up front. The USDA, with the help of local officials, will make their first official assessment of the Midwest crops on August 12.
Officials estimate Wells County has lost between 30 and 40 percent of their crop this season, and Indiana corn and soybean farmers have lost over $500 million in crops. We could break the summer rainfall record as early as this week. In light of that, officials encourage local farmers to keep very detailed records of their crop yield from this season. This will help them with insurance and possibly with federal aid.