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Young Presses For USDA Clarification Amid Greater Climate Change Conversation

Farmers are hoping for additional federal dollars to balance their losses from wet fields and other weather-related issues. (Brock Turner, WFIU/WTIU News)

Indiana Senator Todd Young is pressing the USDA to quickly provide clear guidelines on how farmers can receive additional aid from the federal government.

Farmers across the country are set to receive $3 billion in a disaster relief bill that President Trump signed into law last week.  

Young spoke in a video posted to his YouTube channel with Republican leadership.  He says money will be allocated for agriculture programs related to crop and livestock losses due to the weather.

“Adverse weather conditions have complicated the planting season," he says in the video. "In fact, many Hoosier farmers can’t even get their crops into the ground.”

Purdue’s Climate Change Research Center Director Jeff Dukes says policymakers and farmers also need to acknowledge how climate change affects the future of agriculture.

“That doesn’t mean that every year is going to be crazy like this year and have regular rainfall like this," he says. "What we’re expecting is to get substantially wetter winters and springs.”

Dukes says the climate for current farmers is different than what it was fifty years ago.  

Many farmers say it’s too late for them to plant a corn crop this year and plan to take preventative plant insurance.  Two thirds of Indiana’s corn crop was planted as of last week. Usually, almost all of Indiana’s corn is in the ground by now. 

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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