INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Recent rains have helped relieve drought conditions across parts of Indiana, although an updated federal report still lists nearly half the state in at least extreme drought.
The new U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday says about 17 percent of Indiana is in the worst category with exceptional drought. That designation covers the state’s southwestern corner from around Terre Haute to the Evansville area.
The most significant rainfall in the last couple weeks has been across northern Indiana, leading to less-serious designations for those counties.
The federal report classifies 46 percent of Indiana in extreme or exceptional drought, down from nearly 69 percent last week.
Still, all 92 counties are declared agricultural disaster areas. Farm operators in every Indiana county are now eligible to apply for low-interest loans intended to cover part of their drought losses.
Indiana Farm Service Agency director Julia Wickard says that unless Congress approves additional aid measures under a new farm bill the low-interest loans will be the only drought assistance available to Hoosier farmers.