USDA Provides Disaster Assistance To Iowa Farmers And Cattle Riders Affected By Recent Winter Storms
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers in Iowa recover from damage caused by winter storms Uri and Viola. Agricultural producers are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center to learn more about programs available to help them recover from losses of crops, land, infrastructure and livestock.
“These recent winter storms have taken their toll on farmers and ranchers in Iowa,” said Robert Wegand, acting executive director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Iowa. “We stand alongside our producers who have worked tirelessly in these harsh conditions to feed the livestock and protect the crops from Mother Nature’s wrath. We know these storms left havoc in their wake, and I’m glad the USDA has a strong portfolio of disaster assistance programs available to help. ”
USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact the FSA county office at the local USDA service center to apply for eligible programs and to find out what documents, such as farm records, inventory herd, receipts and photos of damage or loss should be provided to help expedite assistance. .
Producers who experience livestock deaths from winter storms may be eligible for the Livestock Compensation Program. At the same time, the Emergency Aid Program for Livestock, Bees and Farmed Fish provides eligible producers with compensation for food and pasture losses. For PLI and ELAP, producers will be required to file a notice of livestock and grazing loss or feed loss within 30 days and honey bee losses within 15 days.
In addition, eligible orchards and nurserymen can benefit from cost-shared assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, shrubs or vines lost during winter storms. This complements the Uninsured Crop Disaster Assistance (NAP) program or crop insurance coverage, which covers the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases. For TAP, a program application must be filed within 90 days of the disaster.
The FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed loans, including operating and emergency loans, to producers unable to obtain commercial financing. Producers in counties with a primary or contiguous disaster designation 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, food and seeds, cover family living costs, or refinance farm debts and other needs.
Growers who receive risk protection through federal crop insurance or FSA’s NAP should report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or the FSA office. If they have crop insurance, growers must report crop damage to their agent within 72 hours of discovery of damage and follow up in writing within 15 days. For crops covered by the NAP, a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) must be filed within 15 days of the onset of loss, except for manually harvested crops, 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,” said Brian Frieden , acting director of the RMA regional office that covers Iowa. “Licensed insurers, adjusters and agents are experienced and well trained to handle these types of events.”
On Farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Information Sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help producers and landowners determine program options or loan. 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.
All USDA service centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All visitors to the service center who wish to do business with the NRCS, FSA or any service center agency should call ahead and make an appointment. Service centers open to appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors should adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face mask when visiting. Our program delivery staff will continue to work with our