Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is for a drought disaster declaration for 25 Kansas counties. This is the Governor's second drought disaster request this year.
"The impact of production losses caused by drought, wildfires, and high winds in western Kansas is now beginning to be felt by many more Kansas farmers and ranchers across the south central part of our state," 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 25 counties included in the Governor's second request are: Barber, Barton, Butler, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Edwards, Ellis, Ford, Graham, Gray, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Kingman, Lincoln, Norton, Phillips, Reno, Rice, Russell, Sedgwick, Stafford, Sumner and Trego.
"The severe drought continues to put Kansas farmers and ranchers in a difficult position," said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman. "I appreciate the governor's leadership urging the USDA to increase the number of disaster counties. This is an important step in improving Kansas agriculture's ability to adapt and recover."
The Governor's request reflects the recommendations of the Kansas State Emergency Board.
"Despite the recent precipitation in many areas of the state, beneficial rains have been isolated or have missed the counties included in the Governor's request," Kansas Water Office Director, Tracy Streeter said. "In addition to the lack of moisture, excessive temperatures and winds over the past two weeks have compounded the drought conditions in south-central and western Kansas."
The new counties raise the total counties in drought to 46. The 21 counties included in the first federal declaration are: Finney, Gove, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Wallace, and Wichita.
Kansas farmers living in the counties under the first federal declaration who believe they may qualify for assistance should contact their local FSA office for further information.