The farmers in our area of the state are continuing to feel the effects of this year’s drought, and I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief update on where the situation stands today.

During the summer, I wrote about how the excessive heat and lack of rain was hurting the crop yields in our area, as well as how that ends up creating price increases at the grocery store. You might remember that Governor Kasich signed an executive order in July to instruct the Ohio Department of Agriculture to help farmers with drought resources. This includes minimizing some of the negative environmental and economic impacts caused by the drought, as well as helping to provide federal assistance to those who have been affected.

Aiding farmers in Ashtabula County and across the state is extremely important since agriculture is the top industry in Ohio. We rely so heavily on our farmers that when they are hurting, you can feel the effects throughout our state. Helping farmers to mitigate the effects and navigate the government is a very important task that I want to assist you with.

As of September 5th, all of Ohio’s 88 counties were designated primary or contiguous agricultural natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture because of the drought and excessive heat. Designations like this give Ohio farmers access to assistance such as emergency low-interest loans for crop losses, relief payments for non-insurable losses, temporary deferral of payments on federal loans, and permission to cut hay for livestock from acreage that is set aside for conservation otherwise.

There are many programs that might be of use to you, including the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. One of the best ways to learn more about these programs or become more up-to-date on the issue is by visiting the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website at

From the date of the declaration, farmers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses, so I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity as quickly as possible. To apply or to find out more information on what you might be eligible for, feel free to contact the Ashtabula County Farm Service Agency by calling (440) 437-6330.

It’s my hope that, if you were affected by the droughts during the spring and summer, you will be able to benefit from this assistance. The resources play a valuable role in Ohio, and as your state representative, I view it as my job to inform you of all the options available to you.

If you have any further questions or comments regarding the drought, Ohio Department of Agriculture or available resources, please feel free to contact them directly or call me at (614) 466-1405.


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