Kentucky farmers receive US$3.25M relief fund after tornado damage

USA—Farmers in western Kentucky will receive a one-time assistance payment of US$3.25 million from the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to help them continue to grow and process grains after a deadly Tornado in December critically damaged silos at Mayfield Grain Co. holding millions of bushels of corn.

The funds will be provided through the Graves County Grain Assistance Program which Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear established after being contacted by Graves County Judge/Executive Jesse Perry and local farmers.

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The group was concerned about the potential loss of crop yield and sought assistance for local farmers, who are an important part of ensuring the state has an ample grain supply.

“This money will not only alleviate stress for local farmers due to the loss of Mayfield’s grain elevator, it also will help get grain to facilities that can process the product and keep the supply chain moving,” Gov. Beshear said.

Founded in 1986, Mayfield Grain buys corn, soybeans, wheat and canola from approximately 200 local farmers and has more than 6.5 million bushels of grain storage capacity. However, the tornado damage has limited capacity and backed up grain supplies across the region.

“The potential loss of these crops is a disaster for the farmers of Western Kentucky, and ultimately is yet another factor in the rising costs we are all experiencing.”

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While repairs are underway, local farmers must travel 50 miles or more to the next nearest grain elevator to sell their crops.

The additional mileage and lack of larger trucks for hauling grain have increased costs for local farmers and threaten a loss of crop yield.

“Graves County boasts the fifth largest grain production in the state and is first in total value of agricultural products sold in Kentucky.” said Gov. Beshear. “It is critical that we do more to help this essential industry recover.”

With more than 62,000 acres of corn and about 17,000 acres of wheat according to data from the USDA, Mayfield is in Kentucky’s top county for agricultural sales, accounting for 6% of the state’s total farm business.

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