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More Indiana Counties May Be Declared Disaster

Under Secretary Michel Scuse

Under Secretary Michel Scuse has spent the past two days touring Indiana farms. Assessing drought damage in Johnson County on Thursday, he told HAT that Indiana is one of the hardest hit areas of the nation, “For a good deal of the Indiana crop I have seen, the damage is severe.”  He added, even with adequate rainfall in the next few weeks, “The corn is too far gone.”


During a visit to the Merrill Kelsay farm in Whiteland, Scuse said  Indiana is not alone, “I have seen crops in Michigan and Ohio that look as bad as they do here in Indiana.”  He told HAT he plans to make a full report to Secretary Vilsack when he returns to Washington.


State FSA Director Julie Wickard said that currently 80 Indiana counties have been declared disaster areas and that she expects that number to grow, “As we look at the pollination stages of our corn crop and where we are with moisture levels on our soybean crop, we will be moving forward with a disaster being declared in all Indiana counties.”  Wickard indicated that declaration could happen as early as next week.


Emergency haying and grazing has been allowed in some counties on CRP land, and Wickard says producers are beginning to take advantage of the program, “To date, we have 50 counties that have requested it, and I expect that number will grow.” She cautioned, however, that there are restrictions and advised procedures and, before producers take any action, they need to contact their local FSA office to make sure the ground in question is eligible for the exception.


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Current Indiana Counties declared disaster areas