Minnehaha County asks federal government for drought relief - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Minnehaha County asks federal government for drought relief

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Minnehaha County farmer Jamen Benson said of his corn crop "It's very dry, very dry."

Jamen Benson and his father run a farm in Minnehaha County and they know all too well about the current drought conditions.

"If every corn stalk in this whole little six acres here had an ear like this, that's probably a hundred bushel," Benson said.

Unfortunately, that's not the case and Benson usually gets twice as much for about every eighteen feet, but he's counting on having enough crop to make it through.

The Bensons say that if you're a farmer, you have to be optimistic, otherwise you might as well sell your farm.

Hopefully it won't come to that for most farmers.

Lynn DeYoung, Minnehaha County Emergency Management Directors said "we know it's been a difficult period here the last several months. We haven't seen hardly any rain within our area, the temperatures have been extreme to what we're used to."

DeYoung said with our current drought conditions, lack of rainfall and crop loss, the time is right to ask for help.

"Now we finally met those thresholds in the last week or so, so now's the right time to request disaster aid be opened up for our farmers and agricultural producers throughout the county," DeYoung said.

If the federal government declares Minnehaha County a disaster area, how that money will be used, especially without a new farm bill in place, is yet to be determined.@

"Right now, everyone is kind of caught in a lurch of what's going to happen, how it's going to happen, all we really know is we need help and we're requesting the help," DeYoung said.

Benson says that farmers would appreciate the help.

"The biggest thing would be able to provide a safety net for farmers in dry spells like this, that we still have something to fall back onto," Benson said.

Meanwhile, all we can do is wait.  Wait for rain, wait for a new farm bill or wait for federal disaster declaration.

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