|By KEVIN WALKER
LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Jennifer Granholm last week formally requested federal aid for Michigan farmers hit hard by excessive rain, flooding, hail and high winds over the past three months.
“A natural disaster has occurred in the State of Michigan that will result in 2006 production losses in fruit, vegetables and various other crops,” Granholm wrote in her letter to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, dated Aug. 2.
Granholm requested aid on behalf of farmers in the following 30 counties: Antrim, Bay, Benzie, Berrien, Chippewa, Genessee, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Leelanau, Lenawee, Livingston, Luce, Mackinac, Macomb, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and St. Joseph.
In order for aid to be granted, crop losses must be 30 percent or more. The state Farm Service Agency (FSA) is collecting damage assessment information, which should be available for review after Oct 1.
If aid were granted, eligible producers would have access to low-interest federal emergency loans for up to 100 percent of their weather-related production losses. This is the second such letter Granholm has sent this year to the USDA, seeking relief for producers hit hard by weather-related crop damage.
In May, Granholm requested aid for fruit and vegetable producers hit hard by freezing temperatures that occurred during the month of April. In that letter she requested aid on behalf of producers in 28 counties.
This farm news was published in the August 9, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.