Sign-ups begin for USDA disaster relief
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that eligible farmers and ranchers can now sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
“We implemented these programs in record time and kept our commitment to begin sign-up today,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “To ensure enrollment goes as smoothly as possible, dedicated staff in over 2,000 Farm Service Agency offices across the country are doing everything necessary to help producers that have suffered through two and a half difficult years with no assistance because these programs were awaiting Congressional action.”
Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Livestock Indemnity Program will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires.
Enrollment also begins today for the Tree Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
Producers signing up for these programs are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment.
Taking these steps in advance will help producers ensure their application moves through the process as quickly as possible.