Governor looking for options to help farmers hurt by rain

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 16:50:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb met with agricultural leaders this week to talk about the unusually wet weather conditions that have impacted farms and other agriculture businesses statewide.

According to a statement from the governor's office, only 84 percent of Indiana's corn crop and 64 percent of soybeans have been planted, according to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Both numbers represent increases from the beginning of the month, however, both crops are normally 100 percent planted by this time of the year.

Holcomb met with representatives from Indiana Corn & Soybean, the Indiana Farm Service Agency, Agribusiness Council of Indiana, Indiana Pork, and Purdue College of Agriculture.

"The unprecedented weather and extreme field conditions have put Indiana farmers in a very trying situation," Holcomb said in a statement. "The relentless rainfall has prevented many acres from being planted and in some cases farmers have not been able to plant at all. This not only affects crop producers but those involved in animal production and the businesses that supply them."

Information from USDA said there have only been 27 days suitable for field work in Indiana since late March — 20 days fewer than the same time period last year.

Gov. Holcomb is working with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Farm Service Agency to pursue options for agriculture assistance for Indiana farmers, including decisions about proceeding with requests for federal assistance as assessments are finished at the county level.

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"It's been an extremely difficult year for farmers in Indiana," Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, said. "That's why we're working to ensure we're providing all available options."