Governor Tom Vilsack has asked the state director of the Farm Service Agency to assess what Vilsack calls the “widespread” drought conditions in Iowa. Vilsack says drought conditions exist in “many parts of Iowa” and it’s time for officials to start the process of assessing damage in order to put the wheels in motion in case federal disaster aid becomes available for farmers.

Vilsack, in a letter to the top Farm Service Agency official in Iowa, said he wants to “maximize U-S-D-A assistance to farmers who have been impacted by the drought.”

Once a “detailed account” of the amount of crop damage is determined, then the governor may ask the U.S. Ag Secretary to issue a disaster declaration for all of Iowa, or a series of counties.

If the Ag Secretary makes such a move, then Farm Service Agency emergency loans would become available to farmers who’ve felt the effects of the drought financially.