Starting today, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for USDA disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
Staff in the more than 2,000 Farm Service Agency offices are preparing to assist farmers and ranchers in signing up for four disaster assistance programs, depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation.
The four programs include:
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.
The Tree Assistance Program 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.
Supporting documents may include livestock birth records, purchase and transportation receipts, photos and ownership records showing the number and type of livestock lost, documents listing the gallons of water transported to livestock during drought, and more. Crop records may include purchase receipts for eligible trees, bushes, or vines, seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records, and documentation of labor and equipment used to plant or remove eligible trees, bushes, or vines.
Producers have three to nine months to apply depending on the program and year of the loss. Details are available from any local FSA office.