Mother Nature dealt our agriculture community a big blow this year, with severe rainy weather keeping farmers out of the fields during their best planting days. It is a loss for families who make a living off the land. These farmers are eligible for some financial help through a natural disaster designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, because they experienced significant damages and losses due to rain and flooding.
Our farmers work long hours to produce valuable goods for Hoosiers and others across the world, and this assistance is vital to help ensure they can persevere, even when the weather creates extensive hardships.
With this designation, farmers with a 30 percent loss in crop production or physical loss to livestock, livestock products, real estate or personal property are eligible for low-interest Farm Service Agency loans totaling all of the damages up to $500,000. This eligibility applies to all Indiana farmers.
We are anticipating significantly decreased yields this corn harvest due to the wet weather that started in March. Some farmers chose not to plant all their fields, as thousands of acres remained under water for weeks. Others planted late or switched to soybeans once the ground began to dry.
Our farmers raising livestock will also likely suffer. The rain delayed the harvest of feed for livestock, decreasing the amount and quality available to our farms.
It was an unusual and perhaps unprecedented season for our farmers, and this assistance is great news to help them recover losses that were outside of their control.
Farmers can apply for these funds before April 29, 2020, and should contact a FSA office to learn more. We have a rich agriculture heritage, and this designation gives farmers a little security when extreme weather strikes. We can all continue supporting local farmers by buying their vegetables and products at local farmers markets and other places their goods are sold. To learn more about this federal assistance, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.
State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,
Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.
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