After being pummeled by spring storms, farmers in Indiana are recovering with help from state agricultural agencies.
On March 9, violent storms tore across the South and the Midwest. Dozens of tornadoes touched down in several states, killing 19 people in Kentucky, 14 in Indiana, three in Ohio, and one in both Alabama and Georgia. The worst of the storm’s damage was centered in southern Indiana and Kentucky, where several small towns were completely obliterated.
In addition to wreaking tremendous damage on residential areas, the storms also wrecked farms in the region. In southern Indiana, the storms deposited tons of debris across farms in a 45 mile path. The damage comes just weeks away from spring planting, leaving many farmers in a precarious situation.
Indiana agricultural officials are already surveying the damage in order to quickly respond to agricultural needs. According to the Director of the State Department of Agriculture, “I have been in contact with our ISDA team members who are covering that area to get assessments of damage and to determine what will be needed to get these farming operations back up and productive again.”
In addition to livestock issues and debris removal, a major part of the government response will be focused on education. According to one agricultural official, “Longer term, helping people identify and learn how to apply for possible disaster assistance from USDA will take place as well. As of today, we have not started a program that would focus on helping affected farmers get ready for spring planting season by putting them in touch with experienced farmers from other locales, but I will be in touch with several of our Extension Educators to discuss this.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer