The Governor is asking the State Farm Service Agency (FSA) to assess the impact the late spring freeze on Iowa’s crops. David Miller, the administrator of the Iowa Emergency Management Division, says fruit growers raised concerns that they had severe damage to their crops and the governor has asked for a damage information of those crops along with vegetable growers and alfalfa growers.
Miller says apple, cherry and pear growers made the first requests, as he says the freeze hit the fruit growers during a key stage when the buds were forming. Miller says the want to find out if there is indeed enough damage to request a U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration. He says they’ll assess the damage county-by-county and the FSA and state will examine the reports and see if the damage warrants a disaster declaration request. Miller says a disaster declaration would allow growers to get some help.
Miller says growers would be eligible for loans that would help bridge them over until the next growing season. Iowa’s two biggest crops, soybeans and corn, were not in the ground when the freeze hit, so they are not a part of the assessment. Miller says they hope to have all the damage reports in by May 21st.
Miller says it appears there won’t be major damage from the flooding this week. Miller says there was flooding in Polk County, basement flooding near Panora in Guthrie County, and damage to roads in Webster County. Miller says they’ll continue getting in flood reports as the water recedes, but he says the damage doesn’t appear to be a major concern.
Miller says the damage won’t get anywhere near the threshold needed for a federal disaster declaration. Miller says they’re continuing to monitor the rivers and hope the warm, dry weather this weekend will help the waters recede.