INDIANAPOLIS -- Farmers in all but four Indiana counties will have access to federal relief in the wake of devastating flooding after officials approved a disaster declaration for counties hit the hardest.
Indiana just experienced the second-wettest June and July in recorded history and the flooding left farmers in some parts of the state with almost completely ruined crops. The federal disaster declaration directly applies to 53 counties. But Farm Services Agency State Executive Director Julia Wickard says farmers in 35 adjacent counties will also have access to emergency, low-interest loans.
“If a producer is unable to obtain credit traditionally from a lender, our doors are open and ready to serve them,” Wickard said.
Only LaGrange, Perry, Spencer and Steuben counties aren’t covered under the declaration. But State Department of Agriculture Executive Director Ted McKinney says the state may try to get more counties covered, even the adjacent counties where loans are available. He says that’s because, in rare cases, the federal government makes additional benefits available, but those would only apply to farmers in the counties where disasters have been declared.