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Walker seeks federal aid for farmers in Ashland, Bayfield, Iron counties

Danielle Kaeding Wisconsin Public Radio Gov. Scott Walker is asking United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to issue a disaster declaration for northern Wisconsin farmers who were affected by July storms and flooding. In a l...

Danielle Kaeding

Wisconsin Public Radio

Gov. Scott Walker is asking United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to issue a disaster declaration for northern Wisconsin farmers who were affected by July storms and flooding.

In a letter dated Sept. 15, Walker wrote that farmers in Ashland, Bayfield and Iron counties suffered crop losses of 30 percent or more to alfalfa, barley, oats, corn and wheat. Ashland and Bayfield counties UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Jason Fischbach said damaged roads caused hassles for producers trying to get to their fields.

"There was a vegetable producer that was totally flooded out and some hay bales that were moved around, flooded and ruined," he said. "But, generally, this was more of an infrastructure storm that took out all of the culverts and crossings here and there."

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Fischbach said it’s been a challenging year for producers because a wet spring also flooded out croplands or delayed seeding.

"Ashland and Bayfield counties, I’d say there’s more damage from the spring weather than from the storm in terms of crop production," Fischbach said. "That said, fields that were adjacent to waterways, there was a lot of damage there."

He said anyone south of U.S. Highway 2 would have experienced some flooding or potential damage.

"If they had drainages or waterways running through their property, they would’ve seen either some localized flooding to their fields or damage to crossings," he said.

If the USDA secretary grants a disaster declaration, farmers would be eligible to access emergency loans for their losses.

More WPR news is available on KUWS-FM 91.3 or wpr.org.

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2016, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

 

Related Topics: WEATHERAGRICULTURE
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