Kentucky seeks disaster status for farms

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer on Monday asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to declare Kentucky an agricultural disaster area in the wake of last week's devastating ice storm.

"Our farmers are struggling to keep their animals safe and healthy," Farmer said in a news release.

The lack of power has disrupted water and feed supplies and made it hard for dairy farms to milk cows, he said. Dairies last week had to dump milk in some cases because milk-hauling tankers could not get through.

Farmer asked Vilsack for quick action to make federal aid, including low-interest loans, available. "Kentucky's needs are many, and they are urgent," he said.

KDA spokesman Bill Clary said it is too early to put a dollar figure on farmers' losses but "it's going to be a fairly large number."

To read the complete article visit The Lexington Herald-Leader.

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