The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses potentially impacted by Hurricane Florence of programs to provide assistance in the wake of disasters.
“Our farmers and ranchers take financial risks every year to help feed and clothe the US and the world, and a hurricane makes their situations even more perilous,” US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “At USDA, it’s our job to be there for them when they need help. All of our relevant agencies are ready to assist when natural disasters strike.”
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers many safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program and the Tree Assistance Program. The FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. Producers located in counties that receive a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses.
Compensation is also available to producers who purchased coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting. USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn what documents can help the local office expedite assistance, such as farm records, receipts and pictures of damages or losses. Producers with coverage through the federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency should contact their crop insurance agent. Those who purchased crop insurance will be paid for covered losses. Producers should report crop damage within 72 hours of damage discovery and follow up in writing within 15 days.