USDA makes drought assistance available to farmers

As of Oct. 20, 32 counties in Alabama have been designated as primary natural disaster areas, and 15 additional counties are classified as contiguous counties by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of the recent drought. With this in mind, several drought assistance programs are now offered by the USDA.

Programs offered by USDA-FSA are described below:

  • Livestock Forage DisasterProgram (LFP) – LFP is designed to provide compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses because of drought. The grazing losses must be because of a qualifying drought condition during a county’s normal grazing period. Eligibility requirements are for those livestock producers who own or lease land in a county assessed by the U.S. Drought Monitor as: D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks, D3 (extreme drought) or D4 (exceptional drought). LFP payments are calculated based on the drought conditions supported by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • Emergency Loan Program (ELP)– An emergency loan is offered by FSA to producers within counties declared by the president or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a primary disaster area. Contiguous counties are eligible for emergency loans. A variety of terms must be met in order to become eligible for an emergency loan.
  • Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)– NAP provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters resulting in minimal yields or crop losses. Drought is considered an eligible cause of loss. Coverage eligibility for NAP applies to those producers who have completed an application of coverage and paid the appropriate services fees prior to NAP closing dates established by the Farm Service Agency during 2016.

Commissioner John McMillan of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is encourages producers impacted by the drought to contact their local USDA-Farm Service Agency office regarding eligibility of available programs. “We want to make certain Alabama producers are aware of all program opportunities offered by USDA-FSA due to losses as a result of the drought,” said McMillan.

 

For contact information for various USDA-FSA county offices in Alabama where producers can inquire about additional program details, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app. For more information on how to reach a county USDA-FSA office, contact Hassey Brooks at hassey.brooks@agi.alabama.gov or by phone at 334-240-3877.

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