(WSIL) -- The Team West Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will provide up to $3.25 million to help farmers in Western Kentucky continue to grow and process grains after the local grain elevator was critically damaged by December’s deadly tornadoes.
Governor Andy Beshear said the Graves County Grain Assistance Program has been established to help farmers receive funds.
Family-owned and -operated Mayfield Grain Co. buys corn, soybeans, wheat and canola from approximately 200 local farmers. At full capacity, it stores over 6.5 million bushels of grain. But the sustained damage limits capacity and backs up grain supplies across the commonwealth.
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 has an extraordinary agricultural heritage,” Gov. Beshear said. “It boasts the fifth largest grain production in the state and is first in total value of agricultural products sold in Kentucky. It is critical that we do more to help this essential industry recover.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mayfield is in Kentucky’s top county for agricultural sales, accounting for 6% of the state’s total farm business. Graves County has more than 62,000 acres of corn and about 17,000 acres of wheat.
Kentucky farmers who conduct business with Mayfield Grain Co. can get more information about the Graves County Grain Assistance Program and apply for assistance at teamwkyrelieffundapp.ky.gov/grainassistance.