COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After a record rainfall during the spring planting season, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for assistance.
DeWine sent a letter on Friday to Sonny Perdue, the secretary of the USDA, requesting a USDA Secretarial disaster designation for the state. The governor cited flooding and saturated fields that prevented farmers from planting crops.
DeWine’s request for a disaster declaration for the state will allow Ohio farmers to access assistance.
“The harsh reality for Ohio farmers is that many acres will remain unplanted,” DeWine wrote. “Our dairy and livestock sectors also face serious forage and feed shortages. We recognize the tremendous challenges facing our agricultural community and we are working to identify any and all sources of possible relief.”
In his letter, DeWine said that only 50% of the state’s corn crop and just 32% of the soybean crop have been planted as of June 10.
“I visited with several farmers this week and saw firsthand the impact of this devastating rainfall,” Ohio Department of Agriculture director Dorothy Pelanda said. “Fields are visibly filled with water and weeds instead of crops.”
The excessive rainfall hasn’t just affected the planting season — because of poor field conditions, DeWine’s office said some of the crops from last year still haven’t been harvested.