Disaster Programs Cover Storm Damage

Disaster Programs Cover Storm Damage

Tornadoes recently tore up a number of farmsteads and homes in northwest and western Iowa. USDA Farm Service Agency administers programs that can help eligible rural residents hit by storm damage.

FAQ: An estimated 250 to 300 homes and farmsteads in western and northwest Iowa suffered damage from multiple tornadoes in early April. Some of the damage to buildings and homes is extensive. What disaster programs are available from USDA? What do they cover? Who is eligible?

Answer: Provided by John Whitaker, state executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Iowa.

Recent severe weather has caused a tremendous amount of damage in northwest Iowa. This is a difficult time for many of those farm families. We need to make sure farmers report damage and losses, so they don’t miss an opportunity for receiving funding and financial help from our programs.

FSA has programs for coping with livestock deaths, debris removal and loans for physical losses such as buildings, grain bins and other farm structures that have been damaged or blown away. Financial assistance can help repair soil conservation structures and fields that are damaged.

Eligible livestock producers can apply for benefits through the Livestock Indemnity Program. This program provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths that result from a natural disaster. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011.

Report damage and losses right away to FSA

This program provides livestock producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the damaging financial impact of natural disasters. A notice of loss must be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is apparent. Livestock that die within 60 days of the date of the qualifying event, but prior to Oct. 1, 2011 will be considered eligible for loss benefits.

The USDA Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) can provide funding to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters, including debris removal, restoring fences and repairing existing conservation structures. Before this program can be implemented, the need must be determined, making it important for producers to report damages before clean up begins on the land.

Are low-interest rate emergency loans available?

Emergency loans through FSA could also be available. While no declarations have been made at this time for the counties in northwest and western Iowa, emergency loans can assist farmers who have suffered a physical or production loss after an area is declared by the President as a disaster area or designated by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture as a disaster. Loan purposes include operation and real estate, restoring/replacing essential property, helping cover production costs for a disaster year, helping with essential family living expenses, reorganization and refinancing certain debts.

For more information on disaster programs offered by FSA, contact your local county FSA office or visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov.

If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. You can also get news and information about DCP, ACRE and other USDA programs at www.fsa.usda.gov.

Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.

And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at www.WallacesFarmer.com

TAGS: USDA Livestock
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