Indiana Declared Disaster Area

With the summer drought showing no signs of relenting, all 92 of Indiana’s counties have been declared disaster areas, opening up Hoosier farmers to access to federal aid.

The current drought, one of the worst the country has seen in more than 50 years, is hitting farmers hard. More than two-thirds of the nation is experiencing some form of drought, with one-third experiencing severe to extreme drought. The severe weather comes at a bad time for American farmers, who had hoped to raise the largest corn crop in 80 years this summer.

The drought is particularly hard for Indiana farmers. Indiana, at the center of the Corn Belt, is the eighth largest corn producer in the country and is currently at the heart of the drought’s epicenter, causing Hoosier farmers to suffer massive losses across the state.

The crop losses, while devastating for many farmers, are partially offset by federal crop insurance programs. However, in order to collect insurance payments, farmers have to harvest their crop, in whatever condition it may be. For many farmers, this harvest represents a significant financial loss.

According to a Farm Service Agency official, “I’ve had reports in both my counties on corn yield as much as six bushels to the acre and that’s pretty much zero.” Farmers forced to mobilize farm equipment and spend valuable farm labor to harvest nonexistent crops are essentially throwing good money after bad.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer