Governor Eric Holcomb announced on Friday that he has requested a disaster designation from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue due to losses caused by flooding and excessive rain this planting season.
Indiana FSA Executive Director Steve Brown said, “All counties submitted a county emergency board report to the state emergency board, and we met on Friday. 88 counties thought they met the threshold of the disaster designation requirements which require at least a 30 percent loss in a crop in a county.”
If Secretary Perdue approves the request, it will make emergency loans available to producers in those counties. Brown said he and his office have been working with Governor Holcomb’s office for about a month to explain the process and where things stood. Some states issued their disaster designations earlier, but Brown says he thinks Holcomb went about this the right way, waiting until data was collected and submitting it for the necessary counties.
“When I outlined the process and how it works, I know the secretary likes to have data and hard proof when these requests are made. I think the governor chose the accurate way to do this and we have done our due diligence.”
Four counties were excluded from the request for not meeting the 30% crop loss threshold. Those counties include Benton, Rush, Shelby, and Brown’s home county, Warren.
“I’ve been out there driving through the areas and the crops look pretty good out in that area. They were very fortunate. They got the crops planted a lot earlier than a lot of other places and continued to see rainfall. Not that they’re perfect, but the county emergency board didn’t think they met the threshold and after my viewing I can’t disagree with them.”
Brown did say though that should conditions change, and a 30% loss occurs, those counties can still apply for the disaster designation later on.