A freshly planted farm field in Columbia Township is flooded after torrential rains hit the area last month. The Jennings County region has been pounded by numerous downpours over the last three months, preventing numerous farmers from getting corn and soybeans planted.—Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer
Jennings County area farmers are getting some help from the government as they struggle with getting crops planted after a what may be the wettest spring and early summer on record here.
On Friday, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that the state is requesting a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretarial disaster designation for 88 counties, including Jennings, due to losses caused by flooding and excessive rain this planting season. The designation would allow emergency low-interest loans to be made available to farmers.
Also last week, several Indiana lawmakers helped secure the extension of the USDA crop reporting deadline to July 22.
"This is welcome news from Gov. Holcomb and the USDA," said Brad Ponsler of North Vernon, Indiana Farm Bureau regional manager for Jennings, Jefferson, Ripley, Switzerland, Dearborn and Ohio counties. "This year's planting season has been one of the most challenging for all farmers across the state, not just Jennings County."
The state is requesting a USDA Secretarial disaster designation for Jennings County and 87 other counties due to losses caused by flooding and excessive rain this planting season.
"Heavy and persistent rainfall has saturated fields across the state, hurting Indiana crops and our farmers," Holcomb said in a news release. "As I continue to monitor this situation, Hoosier farmers can rest assured that we will keep a close eye on the long-term effects of these relentless rains."
Ponsler says farmers need all the assistance they can get.
"This year has been very stressful for area farmers with the various decisions that needed to be made during planting season," he noted. "With the tight farm economy and this spring's challenges with rain, farmers have had a lot on their minds.
What has become a summertime tradition for Jennings County area children will take place next week at the North Vernon City Park.
Eleven urban search-and-rescue teams from the United States, Canada and Australia converged on the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville last month to participate in one of the largest tactical training exercises of its type.
This week's Pets of the Week at the Jennings County Animal Control Shelter are a dog, Titus, and a cat, Rikki.
Farmers in Jennings County have been busy during the recent dry weather, literally making hay while the sun shines and planting corn and soybeans.
Rick McGill, left, of the North Vernon-Center Township Fire Department and others check out the fire damage to a house Tuesday morning. The fire somehow started outside the house, located at 114 Washington St., and spread to the structure. The damage was minimal and limited to the vinyl siding and insulation at the northeast corner of the house. Officials declined to speculate how the fire may have started.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer