Governor Walker requests
federal disaster assistance
Gov. Scott Walker asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to designate four Wisconsin counties as disaster areas because of ginseng and soybean crop losses caused in part by cold, wet weather in September.
The Governor asked for two separate declarations - one covering Lincoln and Marathon counties, and the other covering Burnett and Polk counties. If USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack declares the disaster areas, farmers there and in adjacent counties would be eligible to receive low-interest loans help them recover from the losses.
In a letter to Sec. Vilsack, Gov. Walker noted that above-normal rainfall in August and September, combined with cold temperatures in September, hampered the ginseng harvest in Lincoln and Marathon counties. The delayed harvest resulted in root rot; the root is the part of the ginseng plant that is harvested for use. Ginseng crop losses ranged as high as 75 percent in the counties.
Gov. Walker's letter regarding Burnett and Polk counties cited wet spring conditions that delayed soybean planting two to three weeks. Then a killing frost hit in mid-September, ending the growing season prematurely. As much as 36 percent of the soybean crop was lost.