LANSING — After a letter from Gov. Whitmer was sent yesterday to Sonny Perdue, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), requesting the agency declare a USDA Disaster Designation for the state of Michigan, provide increased flexibility under the Federal Crop Insurance rules, allow farmers to hay or graze cover crops on prevented plant acres and consider excessive moisture or ponding as eligible criteria under the $3 billion for agricultural disaster assistance recently provided to them by Congress. In response to the letter, the USDA announced today it has agreed to increased flexibility under Federal Crop Insurance rules while it considers further action. Following the news, Rep. Angela Witwer (Delta Township) issued the following statement:

“I applaud Governor Whitmer for helping bring attention to this important issue and making these requests to the USDA an imperative. I also thank the USDA for agreeing to provide flexibility within the crop insurance program to encourage our farmers to salvage what they can, given the circumstances. I still urge the USDA to issue a disaster designation for the state of Michigan, as well as allow Michigan farmers whose crops have been hit by extreme rain and flooding to be eligible for agricultural disaster assistance. Michigan’s farming families are still facing incredible challenges and we need to do everything we can to get them back on their feet.”