USDA Provides Disaster Assistance to Idaho Farmers and Cattlemen Affected by Drought

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Farms in Idaho have been significantly affected by the ongoing severe drought.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers recover. A

s agricultural producers go into recovery mode and assess the damage, they should contact their local USDA service center to report the losses and learn more about the program options available to help them recover from crop loss and damage. land, infrastructure and livestock.

“Sadly, conditions continue to deteriorate across Idaho with every county experiencing drought conditions,” said Gloria Montaño Greene as Assistant Under Secretary for Agricultural Production and Conservation (FPAC). “USDA can respond with disaster assistance programs designed to alleviate some of the financial impact suffered by agricultural producers suffering from drought losses. “

USDA Disaster Assistance for Drought Recovery

Producers who experience livestock and feed losses from natural disasters may be eligible for the Livestock, Bee and Farmed Fish Emergency Assistance Program (ELAP). This program also provides compensation to eligible producers for expenses associated with transporting water to livestock physically located in a county designated as “D3 Drought – Extreme” according to the US Drought Monitor. For ELAP, producers will be required to file a Notice of Loss of Livestock within 30 days and of Bee Losses within 15 days of onset of loss.

Pastoralists may also be eligible for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for 2021 pasture losses due to drought. LFP benefits may be available for loss of acres of pasture due to forest fires on federally managed land on which a producer is prohibited, by a federal agency, from grazing normally licensed livestock.

Additionally, emergency haymaking and grazing of CRP acres may be permitted (outside of the primary nesting season) to assist pastoralists in areas affected by severe drought or similar natural disaster. The condition of emergency haymaking and grazing is reviewed and cleared every Thursday using the US Drought Monitor. Counties are approved for emergency haymaking and grazing due to drought conditions, county by county, when a county is designated as “D2 Drought – Severe” according to the US Drought Monitor.

Eligible orchards and nurserymen may be eligible for cost-shared assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, shrubs or vines lost during drought. This complements the Uninsured Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or crop insurance coverage, which covers the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases. For TAP, a program request must be submitted within 90 days.

“As soon as you can assess the impact of drought on your farm, be sure to contact your local FSA office to timely report all damage and loss to crops, livestock and agricultural infrastructure,” he said. said Charles Newhouse, acting executive director of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Idaho. “To expedite FSA disaster assistance, you will likely need to provide documentation, such as farm records, herd inventory, receipts, and photos of damage or loss.”

FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed loans, including operational and emergency loans, to producers unable to obtain commercial financing. Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Loans can help producers replace essential goods, buy inputs such as livestock, equipment, feed and seeds, cover family living costs, or refinance farm and farm debts. other needs.

Risk management

Growers protected against risk through Federal Crop Insurance or FSA’s NAP must report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or FSA office, respectively. If they have crop insurance, growers must report crop damage to their agent within 72 hours of initial discovery of damage or loss of production. Notices can be made by phone or in person to their agent, then confirmed in writing within 15 days. For crops covered by PAN, a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) must be filed within 15 days of the onset of the loss, except for crops harvested by hand, which must be reported within 72 hours.

“Crop insurance and other USDA risk management options are here to help growers manage risk because we never know what nature has in store for the future,” Ben said. Thiel, director of the regional RMA office that covers Washington. “Licensed insurers, adjusters and agents are experienced and well trained to handle these types of events. “

Additionally, the RMA authorized emergency procedures earlier this month to help agricultural producers affected by extreme drought conditions. Emergency procedures allow insurance companies to accept delayed loss notices in certain situations, streamline paperwork, and reduce the number of representative samples required when damage is constant.

Preservation

FSA offers the Emergency Conservation Program (PCE) and Emergency Forest Restoration Program to help landowners and forest stewards with financial and technical assistance to restore damaged fences, farmland or forests. .

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also offers programs to help with the recovery process. The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) can help producers plan and implement conservation practices on farms, ranches and logged forests affected by natural disasters. Practices include brush management, livestock watering facilities, prescribed grazing, etc.

Long-term damage from drought includes loss of forage production in pastures and fields and increased wind erosion on cultivated fields not protected by soil health practices.

“USDA can be a very valuable partner in assisting landowners in their recovery and resilience efforts,” said Curtis Elke, State Curator for NRCS in Idaho. “Our staff will work one-on-one with landowners to assess damage and develop approaches focused on effective land reclamation.”

More information

On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster at-a-Glance Factsheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help producers and homeowners land tenure to determine program or loan options. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, growers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent. For FSA and NRCS programs, they should contact their local USDA service center.

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