Governor Vilsack’s asking federal ag officials for a disaster designation for farmers in 25 Iowa counties, because of last spring’s cold spring weather. Vilsack says it took a couple of months to gather data for the request.Ellen Gordon of the Iowa Emergency Management division says it’s not really an afterthought because the request comes three months after floodwaters subsided.The Farm Service Agency has to wait for crop-insurance deadlines, and then see what the outlook is for the fall harvest. It could still be weeks before we learn whether the disaster designation is granted. In a call from Rhode Island where the National Governors Association Conference wrapped up today, Governor Vilsack says the request has gone to federal Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.The president will have to sign it, too, and it would let farmers in 25 counties and many that adjoin them get loans to help with whatever losses they suffered because of late planting.
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