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USDA Responds to Hurricane Florence

When natural disaster strikes, victims often look to FEMA, the Red Cross, and charities for help.

USDA staff also jumps into action. The agency made a number of announcements this week in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Successful Farming editors Dave Kurns and Natalina Sents were in Washington D.C. on Thursday to learn more about USDA response to the disaster.

“USDA is unwavering in its commitment to work on behalf of every community hit and ensure life-sustaining resources are available to our neighbors as they begin the hard work of rebuilding their lives and communities following these devastating storms,” Secretary Perdue said. “We are coordinating hour-by-hour and day-by-day with state and local governments, the private and non-profit sectors, and dozens of our federal sister agencies, to bring aid to everyone in need.”

Perdue will travel to North Carolina on Monday morning to survey agricultural damage along with state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and Governor Roy Cooper. Perdue and Troxler are scheduled to have lunch with affected farmers later in the day.

Online Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool

Recently, new tool added to the website offers farmers a series of five questions to help individuals identify USDA disaster assistance programs best suited to help their farm or ranch recover.

In addition to programs the user may be eligible for, the report shows what records or paperwork the producer should bring along when the visit their local service center. The site also explains what USDA forms may need to be completed and helps growers locate their local service center.

Emergency Loans Available

Since President Trump has made disaster declarations for North and South Carolina the USDA emergency loan program is open to eligible producers. The low-interest loans are designed to assist farmers and ranchers recover from physical and production losses. Specific sectors of the agricultural industry may have additional USDA programs adapted for the specific needs of that segment.

Livestock Indemnity Program

Producers who have experienced increased livestock deaths due to the hurricane may qualify for help through the USDA Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). LIP payments are equal to 75% of the average fair market value of the livestock.

For more information on this program read this Livestock Indemnity Program Fact Sheet from USDA.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) may be of assistance to some hurricane victims. NAP provides financial assistance to farmers who raise noninsurable crops when natural disasters cause low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting.

The most recent Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program Fact Sheet from USDA has more details.

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