TOPEKA -- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has sent two letters to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today requesting the USDA issue disaster declarations for drought and severe weather counties in Kansas.
Gov. Brownback requested a disaster declaration for Franklin, Geary, Johnson, Miami, Morris, Osage, Riley, Shawnee and Wabaunsee counties because of drought, wildfires, excessive heat, and high winds. This is the Governor’s fifth drought disaster request this year. USDA has granted drought declarations for 70 Kansas counties based on Gov. Brownback’s first four requests.
Gov. Brownback also requested a disaster declaration for Cheyenne and Rice counties because of production losses caused by weather conditions, including excessive rain, hail and lightning that occurred on August 8 through August 10.
“Production losses caused by drought, wildfires, excessive heat, high winds, excessive rain, hail and lightening are having a devastating impact on Kansas farmers and ranchers,” Gov. Brownback said. “An agricultural disaster declaration will make them eligible for emergency loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency, as well as any other aid that may be available through the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program approved in the 2008 farm bill.”
The Governor’s request reflects the recommendations of the Kansas State Emergency Board. County FSA offices must report at least a 30 percent production loss county wide in a crop in order for a county to be recommended by the Board for disaster declaration.
“I appreciate the governor's leadership urging the USDA to declare these disaster counties,” Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman said. “This is an example of how the state and federal government can work together to improve Kansas agriculture's ability to adapt and recover.”
The 70 Kansas counties for which the USDA already has issued drought disaster declarations, at the recommendation of Governor Brownback in his first four requests, include:
Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Edwards, Elk, Ellis, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Labette, Lane, Lincoln, Linn,
Logan, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morton, Neosho, Ness, Norton, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Russell, Rush, Sedgwick, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Wichita, Wilson and Woodson counties.
Kansas farmers living in the counties under existing federal declarations who believe they may qualify for assistance should contact their local Farm Service Agency office for further information.