4:43 PM EDT, July 25, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lt. Governor Becky Skillman wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a natural disaster in all 92 of Indiana's counties
The drought led USDA to declared disasters Wednesday in 14 more counties, bringing to 64 the number of counties with such a designation. Along with adjacent counties, they qualify for low-interest loans from the federal government.
Skillman, Indiana's agriculture secretary, says she and Indiana Farm Service Agency Executive Director Julia Wickard will write Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack requesting primary disaster declarations for all 92 Indiana counties.
The USDA added the following counties Wednesday: Blackford, Boone, Clinton, Delaware, Fountain, Henry, Madison, Montgomery, Rush, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo and White.
The U.S. Drought Monitor report released last week shows nearly 54 percent of Indiana is now in extreme drought.