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Iowa’s congressional delegation urges federal relief for storm-affected farmers

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 6:41 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KCRG) - Iowa’s congressional delegation wrote a bipartisan letter to United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to ask him to grant assistance to the state’s farmers affected by the derecho on August 10.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Joni Ernst, along with Rep. Abby Finkenauer, Rep. Dave Loebsack, Rep. Cindy Axne, and Rep. Steve King asked Perdue to quickly approve the request made last week by Gov. Kim Reynolds for an agricultural disaster declaration. Reynolds asked the federal agency for relief for farmers in 57 Iowa counties affected by the derecho, which would allow them access to special disaster funds from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Iowa producers have also suffered significant damage to houses, grain bins, barns, and other infrastructure critical to their farming operations and livelihoods. It is critical that you grant this secretarial disaster designation,” the delegation wrote.

The delegation said that farmers have a potential loss of about 3.6 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans from the storm.

Read the entire letter sent to Sec. Perdue below:

“Dear Secretary Perdue:

We respectfully ask that you promptly grant the request made by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for a Secretarial Disaster Designation for 57 Iowa counties that suffered losses as a result of the derecho that occurred on August 10, 2020.

The counties included are: Adair, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Buchanan, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cherokee, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Monona, Monroe, Muscatine, Plymouth, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Story, Tama, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Webster, and Woodbury.

This severe storm swept through much of Iowa with sustained winds in excess of 100 mph. Within the requested 57 counties, there are 8.2 million corn acres and 5.6 million soybean acres. Based on satellite imagery and preliminary storm reports, approximately 3.57 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans can be seen to be severely damage, with millions more acres affected to varying degrees. This is a potential loss of nearly 725 million bushels of corn and nearly 153 million bushels of soybeans.

Iowa producers have also suffered significant damage to houses, grain bins, barns, and other infrastructure critical to their farming operations and livelihoods. It is critical that you grant this Secretarial Disaster Designation that will make these producers eligible for resources that will help mitigate these significant losses.

Thank you for your prompt consideration of this important request.”

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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