Portman, Brown Urge Agriculture Secretary to Declare USDA Disaster Declaration to Help Ohio Farmers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to declare an U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster designation to help Ohio farmers suffering because of extreme rainfall and flooding.  With a USDA disaster declaration, Ohio farmers would receive the financial assistance they need as they continue to work through a difficult planting season. According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, due to excessive rainfall, flooding, and oversaturated fields, this has been the worst planting season since it started tracking planting progress in the late 1970s.

“Record amounts of rainfall in Ohio this spring have resulted in significant amounts of unplanted acres and created tremendous uncertainty for farmers in our state. As such, we respectfully request a USDA Secretarial Disaster Designation for Ohio,” wrote Portman and Brown in a letter to Secretary Perdue today. 

Full text of the letter is below and here:

Dear Secretary Perdue:

Record amounts of rainfall in Ohio this spring have resulted in significant amounts of unplanted acres and created tremendous uncertainty for farmers in our state. As such, we respectfully request a USDA Secretarial Disaster Designation for Ohio.

Rainfall, severe storms, and flooding has led to significant agricultural damage in Ohio, delaying farmers from planting their crops or deciding to forgo planting altogether. In fact, the 12-month period between June 2018 and May 2019 has been the wettest year in Ohio to date.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), as of June 16, 2019, only 68% of Ohio’s corn and 46% of Ohio’s soybeans have been planted, compared to this time last year when Ohio corn and soybean planting rates were at 100% and 94%, respectively. Farmers in the wettest counties are now faced with the reality that many acres will likely go unplanted. Ohio’s agricultural sector is strong, but this year’s extreme weather, coupled with continued uncertainty in the commodity markets, could have troubling long-term effects on this important industry.

Thank you for your consideration of this Disaster Designation request for Ohio.

Sincerely,

Rob Portman                                                    Sherrod Brown

U.S. Senator                                                     U.S. Senator

###