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USDA Officials To Visit Johnson County Farm To View Drought

USDA officials spent Wednesday in northern parts of the state and will head to Johnson County Thursday.

farm with corn field

Photo: Gretchen Frazee/WFIU-WTIU News

Farmers say they are going to lose as much as half their crops due to the drought.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Michael Scuse continues his farm tour in Indiana later this morning. His latest stop brings him to Whiteland, in Johnson County. That‘s where he‘s visiting the six generation Kelsay Farm. Merrill Kelsay says the drought has taken a toll on his 2000 acres.

“I think he‘ll be able to see what we‘re telling him. And we‘ve got crops dried up. We haven‘t had much rain since the end of May,” Kelsay says.

Kelsay grows corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa hay. Kelsay says he thinks he‘ll lose about half of his corn crop to the drought. Kelsay says the lack of corn and hay will have a definite impact on livestock that need it for feed. He says he plans to tell the officials that it’s not just his farm that’s suffering.

“We’ve all got to keep in mind that we all live on this earth and we‘re all in this together. It isn‘t just my problem. It‘s gonna be everybody‘s problem,” he says.

Kelsay says the 2012 drought is worse than the droughts of the 1980s. He says the corn pollination has been destroyed by the heat wave even though the corn may look good on the surface. He says even though many farmers have insurance, they would still prefer having the commodity. Scuse is on a fact-finding mission to help determine what federal aid should be offered to affected farmers.

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