Ohio Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda late last week sent a letter to U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, supporting Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for a secretarial disaster designation and asking for consideration of specific recommendations regarding Ohio farmers.

Record rainfall has been devastating for Ohio farmers and is crippling the state’s agriculture economy. The governor and Pelanda have been meeting with farmers across the state. As a result of these conversations, Pelanda is asking Perdue to consider specific changes, including:

• Provide certain exemptions in policies regarding Prevent Plant acres and cover crops

• Change in policies for Beginning Farmers

• Provide assistance for planting of cover crops for erosion control and reduced weed pressure purposes

"Farmers are telling us this is the worst year they have ever experienced," Pelanda said. "We need to help our Ohio farmers get through this devastating time and try to lessen the far-reaching impact this will have on agricultural businesses and the state’s economy."

Pelanda praises DeWine’s initial step to request a secretarial disaster designation from USDA in his letter to Perdue on June 14, 2019.

"This is an unprecedented situation, at least in my lifetime in Ohio," DeWine said. "We hope to work with the federal government to make things easier for these farmers."