Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2019
Gov. Whitmer Applauds U.S. Department of Agriculture for Providing Relief for Michigan Farmers
Announcement comes one day after Gov. Whitmer’s letter requesting assistance
LANSING, Mich. -- One day after Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting relief for Michigan farmers facing overwhelming challenges during one of the wettest periods on record in the state, the U.S Department of Agriculture announced it will provide flexibility within Federal Crop Insurance by allowing farmers to hay or graze cover crops planted on prevented plant acres on September 1st, 2019. The Department also announced that the Farm Service Agency will be extending the deadline to report prevented planting acres in select counties.
“This is a win for farmers across our state who are in the midst of one of the toughest periods for farming in Michigan history,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I’m glad the federal government has recognized the importance of Michigan’s agriculture industry to our families and our economy, and I encourage Secretary Perdue to continue providing support by approving a USDA Secretarial Disaster Designation for the State of Michigan and ensuring that all Michigan farmers are eligible for the disaster assistance recently approved by Congress.”
Michigan is currently in the midst of the third wettest year in state history, with 37.9 inches of rain between May 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019. This weather has delayed and prevented farmers from planting their crops as usual, with 64 out of Michigan’s 83 counties requesting disaster designations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture this year.
Additionally today, the State of Michigan announced a $15 million program that allows financial institutions to make low-interest loans to farmers, growers, processors, and farm-related retailers. The State will pay the loan origination fees to reduce the cost the loans to farmers and provide them with support during this period.