07/09/12 Congressman Joe Donnelly and three of his Republican colleagues in the Indiana Congressional Delegation recently sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to promptly consider a request for emergency haying and grazing to aid the Hoosier agricultural industry. Forty percent of Indiana faces “drought” conditions and many counties in Indiana face “severe drought” conditions. If approved, this authorization would give Hoosier farmers additional options when feeding their livestock.
“The drought in Indiana has taken a toll on the Hoosier agriculture industry,” said Donnelly. “The drought has caused Indiana’s fields to suffer, limiting the food options for the livestock that rely on those crops from those fields for food. A lower crop yield could also result in an increase of the price of food this winter. Higher food prices will hurt Hoosier consumers. That’s why today, I joined some of my Republican colleagues from Indiana and urged the Secretary of Agriculture to promptly consider a request for emergency haying and grazing of conservation reserve program land in all counties that meet appropriate drought conditions in order to give farmers more flexibility as they seek to provide adequate hay and forage to feed their livestock.”
Donnelly has been a strong supporter of the Indiana agriculture industry.
The full text of the letter sent by the Indiana delegation to Secretary Vilsack is below.
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
This year has been dry throughout the Midwest, including our state of Indiana. Without significant rainfall, conditions will continue to be difficult for Indiana’s farmers. As of today, 40 percent of our state has crossed the line into an official drought and many counties have progressed to a “severe drought”. Both soybean and corn fields are showing major signs of stress and the crops are suffering immensely, as well as the farm animals that rely on this land. Lower yields also mean higher commodity prices, which in turn could mean higher food prices this winter, not just for corn and other produce, but for the animals that feed on corn, such as hogs, cattle and chickens. It is very clear that the drought has taken its toll on Indiana agriculture.
We urge you to promptly consider a request to authorize emergency haying and grazing of all conservation reserve program land also including haying of filter and border strips in all counties that meet the appropriate drought conditions and to give prompt consideration to future requests. This authority can help provide producers another option as they seek to provide adequate hay and forage to their animals during this dry season.
Thank you for your consideration.
Congressman Todd Rokita Congressman Larry Bucshon
Congressman Joe Donnelly Congressman Mike Pence