Earlier today the the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a formal Disaster Declaration for fifty-three Indiana counties, including Monroe and Brown counties. The request was made by Governor Mike Pence and other state officials in response to Indiana farmers suffering severe crop damage. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Due to record setting rainfall and the resulting floods that began at the beginning of May, many Indiana farmers have lost significant amounts of their crops. Heirloom tomatoes for example, which are ordinarily available in as many as thirty varieties, have been reduced to eight varieties in recent months. Local Farmer’s Market Coordinator Marcia Veldman says Bloomington’s Farmer’s market has been noticeably affected stating that many crops have been simply washed away.
While crop damage is certainly a problem for the local farming market, Veldman says she thinks the situation for farmers will improve in the fall. She says that now that things are looking better, hopefully this will bail out the growing season.
The Secretarial Disaster Declaration will serve to provide low-interest emergency loans to farmers who’ve suffered losses in any of the approved fifty-three counties as well as in contiguous counties. Affected farmers are encouraged to seek details about these emergency loans at the local Farm Service Agency.