Four additional Ohio counties were given natural disaster declarations by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) after heavy rainfall, floods and other weather issues caused a decrease in crop production.
The declaration means that farmers in Williams, Fulton, Morrow and Union counties will now be eligible for Farm Service Agency assistance if they can show that the weather caused them to have a serious loss in crop production. Such farmers may be eligible for emergency loans if they can demonstrate that they have the ability to pay them back.
The heavy rainfall and floods caused poor field conditions and cropland erosion, which led to delays in planting crops. It also created complications for manure applications.
A county can receive a natural disaster declaration if that county or an adjacent county has a serious loss of production or value of its primary crop. The USDA considers it a disaster if the crop production drops by 30 percent because of natural causes or quality losses cause the price to reduce by 30 percent. Williams County met the threshold and the other three counties are adjacent to Williams County.
Early last week, the USDA approved the disaster declaration of 40 other counties. Gov. Mike DeWine sent a letter to the USDA requesting the assistance in June because by June 10th, only half of the state’s corn crop and one-third of the state’s soybean crop could be planted.
The bad weather led DeWine to declare a state of emergency in 63 counties because the weather had also caused damage to roads and bridges, some of which are still closed.