Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher requests disaster assistance for Kentucky farmers

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 18, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker

Lack of significant rainfall will cause farmers loss, letter states

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher has sent a request to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns requesting that USDA disaster assistance be made available to the farmers across the state due to crop losses resulting from drought conditions that began in February 2005 and continue today. 

“Kentucky has experienced higher than normal temperatures and limited rainfall this summer causing the state to move deeper into a drought status, as supported by the Palmer Drought Index and the Crop Moisture Index,” Governor Fletcher’s letter states.  “The Bluegrass area is now in an extreme drought status with other areas of the Commonwealth classified as severe.

“Rainfall in Kentucky has been less than normal five of the last seven months, and the Commonwealth has also experienced temperatures higher than normal in the past few months. Crops and pasture losses will be wide-spread across the state, with Kentucky’s soybean crop estimated to suffer a 50 percent or greater loss.  Kentucky’s cattle industry could see an early liquidation of cattle, due to the financial strain of providing supplemental feed as pasture loss increases.”

The letter was mailed to Secretary Johanns on Wednesday, August 17.