Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Requests Disaster Assistance for Kentucky Farmers

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 29, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Angela Blank

Third driest May through August in the past 113 years

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today sent a request to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns requesting USDA disaster assistance be made available to farmers across the Commonwealth. This request was made due to crop losses resulting from drought conditions that began in February 2007 and continue today.

Governor Fletcher received letters from Kentucky Farm Bureau, Senator Tom Jensen, and Representative Mike Denham encouraging him to seek a disaster declaration from the USDA.

“Kentucky experienced higher than normal temperatures and limited rainfall this summer causing the state to move deeper into a drought status,” Governor Fletcher’s letter states. “The Commonwealth is now in severe to extreme drought status and is truly in a state of disaster.”

“This is the third driest May through August in the past 113 years, with lower than normal rainfall and temperatures higher than normal in the past several months led to this state of disaster. Crops and pasture losses will be wide-spread across the state. Southern Kentucky farmers have begun to harvest corn and early reports show yields are forty percent lower than average.  Many other Kentucky farmers are being forced to liquidate cattle, due to the financial strain of providing supplemental feed as pasture loss increases.”

In addition, Governor Fletcher instructed the Kentucky Office of Insurance to exempt licensed adjusters in other states from the licensing requirements in Kentucky for the purpose of adjusting crop insurance claims in our state. This will allow crop insurance companies to send licensed adjusters into Kentucky to expedite the claims process for Kentucky producers.