BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In a letter sent Tuesday, Nov. 15, Governor John Bel Edwards requests a disaster declaration for the state’s agricultural losses this year.

The letter delivered to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack describes the hardships Louisiana farmers faced — drought conditions and excessive rainfall — which resulted in major economic losses.

“One preliminary estimate from the Louisiana State University AgCenter places the total economic impact on Louisiana’s agricultural output at nearly $500 million,” wrote Edwards.

According to a U.S. Drought Monitor, the majority of Louisiana was last reported on Nov. 10 to be under a moderate to severe drought.

The governor is requesting a Secretarial Declaration of Disaster for the state. This type of disaster declaration has a streamlined process with reduced paperwork and documentation, according to the USDA.

Read the full letter below: