USDA issues disaster declarations for crop loss to Idalia, drought
Posted on Nov 16, 2023 at 13:28 PM
On Oct. 30, Nov. 3 and Nov. 13, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued natural disaster declarations that cover a total of 47 primary counties and numerous contiguous counties in Georgia. Twenty of the counties received disaster designations due to ongoing drought conditions. The other 27 counties received disaster designations because of loss to Hurricane Idalia.
These secretarial natural disaster designations allow the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or to refinance certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.
Vilsack issued a natural disaster declaration on Oct. 30 for four primary counties and an additional three contiguous counties in Georgia which have sustained 8 or more weeks of severe, extreme, or exceptional drought conditions.
The primary Georgia counties under this drought declaration are: Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker. Contiguous Georgia counties under this declaration are: Floyd, Gordon and Whitfield.
The application deadline for assistance under this declaration is June 30, 2024.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu, these counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought – Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks; or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or; 3) D4 Drought- Exceptional.
On Nov. 6, Vilsack declared 11 North Georgia Counties as primary disaster areas because of extended periods of drought conditions. Producers in an additional 11 contiguous counties are also eligible to apply for relief.
The primary counties under this drought declaration are: Bartow, Cherokee, Dawson, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield.
The contiguous counties under this declaration are: Catoosa, Chattooga, Cobb, Forsyth, Fulton, Hall, Paulding, Polk, Union, Walker and White.
The application deadline for assistance under this declaration is July 6, 2024.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought – Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks; or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or; 3) D4 Drought- Exceptional.
On Nov. 13, Vilsack designated another five counties (four in Southwest and one in Northeast Georgia) as primary natural disaster areas due to sustained drought conditions, which makes nine contiguous counties eligible to apply for relief.
The primary counties under this declaration are: Decatur, Early, Miller, Seminole and Union. The contiguous counties are: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Fannin, Grady, Lumpkin, Mitchell, Towns and White. The application deadline for assistance under this declaration is July 15, 2024.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the primary counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought – Severe for more than 8 or more consecutive weeks; 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or; 3) D3 Drought- Exceptional.
Drought conditions trigger exisiting Livestock Forage Disaster Program
Drought severity levels in 20 Georgia counties have activated eligibility payments for the USDA Livestock Forage Disaster Program for the 2023 program year, USDA announced Nov. 14.
Eligible counties are Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Dawson, Decatur, Early, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Lumpkin, Miller, Murray, Pickens, Seminole, Union, Walker, and Whitfield. LFP qualifying drought triggers are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor. Visit the FSA LFP webpage for a list of eligible counties and grazing crops.
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications in eligible counties for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) to provide financial assistance to eligible livestock producers for 2023 grazing losses due to a qualifying drought. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2024.
“The severe and extreme drought conditions in our state have had a damaging impact on many livestock operations,” said Arthur Tripp, State Executive Director for FSA in Georgia. “Livestock producers in the twenty eligible Georgia counties are highly encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more about this critical drought recovery assistance.”
LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock and who are also producers of grazed forage crop acreage of native and improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or acreage planted specifically for grazing. Grazing losses must occur on land physically located in a county experiencing a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county.
Eligible livestock include alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo/bison, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, ostrich, reindeer, or sheep that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland during the normal grazing period.
To expedite the application process, producers are encouraged to gather and submit records documenting 2023 losses. Supporting documents may include information related to grazing leases, contract grower agreements, and more.
LFP is part of a broader suite of disaster assistance available through USDA. For more information about FSA’s full suite of disaster recovery options, producers can visit farmers.gov, where the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Loan Assistance Tool can help you determine program or loan options. Producers can also contact their local USDA Service Center to file a Notice of Loss and learn more about programs fitting their operational needs.
USDA designates 27 counties primary disaster areas due to Hurricane Idalia loss
On Nov. 3, Vilsack issued a disaster declaration for 27 counties and an additional 20 contiguous counties that sustained agricultural losses due to Hurricane Idalia on Aug. 30.
According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), the 27 primary counties are home to more than 7,800 agricultural operations farming more than 2,300,000 acres with a farm gate value of over $3.5 billion. The GDA licenses and regulates approximately 6,700 entities across these counties, including livestock and poultry operations, retail grocery stores, meat processing facilities, gas stations, animal shelters, and others. The total economic loss caused by Hurricane Idalia is still being calculated by the Farm Service Agency and UGA Extension.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of Hurricane Idalia.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures in these counties. Lastly, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
The primary counties under this declaration for loss to Hurricane Idalia are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bulloch, Candler, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Evans, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pierce, Tattnall, Telfair, Thomas, Toombs, Ware, Wayne and Wheeler.
The contiguous counties under this declaration are: Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Colquitt, Dodge, Effingham, Emanuel, Glynn, Grady, Jenkins, Laurens, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Mitchell, Screven, Tift, Treutlen, Turner and Wilcox.
The application deadline for assistance under this declaration is July 3, 2024.
On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Loan Assistance Tool can help you determine program or loan options. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local USDA Service Center.
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