USDA Commits to Stand by Producers Affected by Severe Weather, Natural Disasters

Deadline to register for tornado assistance from FEMA is here.

Published on: Jul 18, 2011

Many farmers and ranchers across the U.S. continue dealing with the impact of floods, drought, fires and tornadoes. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack wants to remind farmers and ranchers across the U.S. that USDA offers a variety of resources to help them cover losses, and urges those in need to contact their local county or state USDA Service Center or Farm Service Agency.

Available USDA assistance ranges from the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, federal crop insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. USDA's Risk Management Agency urges producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant or crop losses to contact their crop insurance company for more information. Other assistance available to those impacted by flooding include the Emergency Loan Program and Emergency Watershed Protection program.

"America's farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation's economy and our values, and my heart goes out to all who are facing hardships because of severe weather and natural disasters," said Vilsack. "In the past two months alone, I have visited with hundreds of Americans who have had to put their lives and livelihoods on hold to deal with floods, tornadoes, drought and wildfires. Since the beginning, I have instructed USDA staff in the affected states that our main priority must be to work with farmers, ranchers and others to explain the type of aid that is available. We will continue to listen to your concerns and, whenever possible, offer assistance to help you through these difficult times."

In a related issue, disaster survivors who sustained storm and tornado damages between April 15 and May 31 have one more day to register for federal disaster assistance. About 86,000 survivors have already registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but those who have not must do so by Monday, July 18. Registering with FEMA before the deadline opens the door for assistance to repair or rebuild survivors' home, vehicle, personal property, businesses or inventory. Registration can be  done by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or on-line 24 hours a day at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or m.fema.gov with a smartphone or tablet.