More Than 100,000 Acres Impacted by Collapse

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Farmers affected by irrigation tunnel collapse have been waiting for decision to be made by the USDA

Nebraska & Wyoming Farmers Grateful For Insurance Coverage For Irrigation Tunnel Collapse

Farmers in Wyoming and Nebraska are breathing a sigh of relief, after learning their losses are covered. The farmers had no way of watering their crops after a massive tunnel collapse of an irrigation tunnel in July.

The decision was released Friday, prior to the decision farmers were waiting for on pins and needles hoping for the best. The U.S Department of Agriculture determined that the collapse was weather related.

The torrential rains that the region endured was part of the issue with the collapse the investigation determined. Farmers who were affected by the collapse were told to contact their insurance carriers, as they will be covered.

The collapse on July 17, was part of a water system that delivered water to eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska. More than 100,000 acres of farmland in both states were impacted by the collapse.

Lawmakers In Both States Praised The USDA For Doing The Right Thing

The panhandle of Nebraska and Wyoming sustained over 90 million dollars of damages. United States Senators from both states appealed to the director of the USDA for relief from the damages.

The letter was written on August 22, and addressed to Director Sonny Perdue. In a letter by Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, he appealed to the department for help before the winter weather sets in.

Enzi said, “This is a critical time for many Wyoming producers. The decision will provide greater certainty to our farmers by the tunnel collapse, so they can prepare for the winter and next season”.

Wyoming Senator John Barasso was in Torrington, Wyoming to see the damage the collapse was responsible for. Barasso was in the area last week and also met with local officials. He praised the USDA on Friday for the decision to help the farmers recover. He said he was very committed to working with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

Barasso said the first major hurdle has been cleared with the USDA decisions. He has promised to work with the Governor and others to ‘rebuild the bridge’.

Senator Barasso Said That It Was Important To Cover The Damages To Crops Due To The Collapse

Barasso also said, “I applaud the Department of Agriculture for granting our request to extend crop insurance”. To all the affected farmers in Wyoming and Nebraska. This much needed relief is a lifeline to the Goshen Irrigation District community.

This relief will assist them greatly as they work to rebuild the tunnel. I will continue to work with Governor Gordon, the irrigation district and the Bureau of Reclamation.” We will ensure that the community has the necessary resources needed to complete the reconstruction process”.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Farm Bureau also wrote letters to the USDA last week requesting relief. Todd Fornstrom, President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau, said he is thankful for the decision and Sonny Perdue at the USDA. Furthermore, he also thanked all the others at the USDA who made the decision possible.