by Tyler Arnold
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking federal funding for farms in her state because of the struggles farmers are facing from an unusual wet period and other issues with the weather.
“Michigan farmers are in a state of crisis right now because of extraordinary weather conditions, from historic rainfall, extreme cold, excessive snow, flash flooding, and tornadoes,” Whitmer said in a news release. “Michigan has a rich history in agriculture, and on behalf of our farmers, our families, and our economy, we need to take action now. I’m ready and eager to partner with the federal government to make sure Michigan farmers have the support they need during this difficult time.”
In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Whitmer requested that the department give Michigan a USDA Secretarial Disaster Designation and more flexibility – and the ability to apply for aid – under the Federal Crop Insurance Program and Congress’s disaster legislation.
Michigan received 37.9 inches of rain between May 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019, which is the third wettest year recorded in state history. Whitmer said that this has led to oversaturated topsoil, which prevented farmers from planting their fields and harvesting enough hay for the winter. She said the state only had 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork so far this year.
The rain – along with ongoing trade disputes and tariffs with other nations – has led the state to have record-low planting numbers, according to Whitmer.
Whitmer did not specify how much money the farmers would need and her office did not respond to a request for comment about the specific funding needs.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia, Ohio and Michigan for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.