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Pence asks for disaster declaration in 53 Indiana counties

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Joe Donnelly are asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack for a disaster declaration for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties because of crop damage and losses caused by flooding and excessive rain.

Pence wrote in a letter to Vilsack that unprecedented heavy rainfall has had a significant impact on the yield of Indiana crops, saying federal emergency loan assistance is prudent and warranted.

Pence says in 50 counties, reported crop damage and losses have met or exceeded 30 percent of a crop, and three counties have experienced a significant number of damages and losses to multiple crops. Under a disaster designation, low-interest emergency loans would be made available to all producers suffering losses in that county, as well as in counties contiguous to a disaster-designated county.