USDA Offers Disaster Assistance to South Dakota Farmers Affected by Recent Severe Storms and Related Weather Events | Community

HURON — Farms in South Dakota were significantly impacted by a severe weather event that included straight-line winds, causing widespread and widespread destruction across the state. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers recover from these adverse weather events. Affected growers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to help them recover from loss and damage to crops, land, infrastructure, and livestock. .

“The widespread damage caused by the recent severe weather event that severely impacted South Dakota, destroyed agricultural infrastructure and operations, and significantly impeded the progress of the 2022 crop year,” said Robert Bonnie, undersecretary for production Agriculture and Conservation (FPAC). “Adverse weather events can leave agricultural producers in a difficult situation, so we want to let people know that the USDA has an extensive portfolio of disaster assistance programs and is continually reviewing existing policies to determine where flexibilities exist. program can be made to further help producers weather the adversity caused by these storms.

Producers who receive risk protection through federal crop insurance must report crop damage to their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of discovering the damage or loss of production. All notices must be confirmed in writing with their crop insurance agent within 15 days of the initial notice. This storm along with the continued cold and wet weather in South Dakota has delayed many growers’ plans to plant an initial crop or replant a crop. The Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds growers to speak early and often with their crop insurance agent.

“It was a cold, wet spring for many farmers in the Midwest, and we heard of difficulties getting to fields to plant or replant,” said Eric Bashore, director of the Billings regional office, which covers Dakota. from South. “We recommend that you keep in touch with your crop insurance agents, in order to know all the options available. The federal crop insurance program has several built-in options to deal with these situations. We will continue to monitor the condition and communicate with our stakeholders, crop insurance industry partners, colleagues at the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and state departments of agriculture to ensure growers have all the information they need to make decisions throughout the planting season.

Growers unable to plant by the final planting date due to an insurable cause of loss must notify their crop insurance agent whether or not they intend to plant an insured crop. Growers may receive an indemnity for prevented planting or reduced insurance coverage if they choose to plant during the late planting period. Additionally, growers can choose to plant a different crop with a later final planting date while receiving a partial payment for prevented planting. To learn more, read the May 27, 2022 press release or visit the Prohibited Planting and Replanting webpages.

Growers considering unconventional planting practices, such as broadcasting and then incorporating seed, should contact their agent to see if a written practice or unclassified type (TP) agreement is required to secure the practice. The deadline to request a written agreement from TP for crops with a contract modification date of November 30 is July 15. Learn more in the press release of May 23, 2022.

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) can assist landowners and forest stewards with financial and technical assistance to replace or restore fences as well as remove debris agricultural land. The FSA offers cost-sharing payments of up to 75% of the cost of implementing approved restoration practices, and up to 90% for producers who certify as resource limited, socially disadvantaged, or beginning farmers or ranchers. ECP registration periods will be announced by county, but producers can submit applications before registration begins. In South Dakota, 32 counties are eligible for ECP assistance.

The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is always available to provide technical assistance in the recovery process by helping growers plan and implement conservation practices on farms, ranches, and ranches. Logged forests affected by natural disasters. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides agricultural producers with financial resources and individual assistance to plan and implement land improvements, including financial assistance to repair and prevent erosion excessive soil caused or affected by natural disasters. These practices include activities such as shoreline restoration, grassed streams and buffer zones.

“NRCS programs are available to help South Dakota landowners recover from adverse weather events,” said Toni Sunseri, NRCS State Ecologist in South Dakota. “NRCS employees will help landowners assess damage and develop methods focused on effective recovery options.”

NRCS-funded conservation practices protect land from erosion, support disaster recovery and repair, and can help mitigate losses from future natural disasters. Assistance may also be available for the emergency elimination of animal mortality due to natural disasters and other causes. Growers can visit their local USDA Service Center to learn more about the impacts of recent natural disasters and potential associated recovery tactics.

RESTORATION OF LIVESTOCK, CROPS AND AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Producers who experience livestock deaths above normal may be eligible for the Livestock Compensation Program (LIP). To participate in the LIP, growers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of fatality losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event, including lightning, high and straight-line winds, and must submit a notice of loss to their local LIP office. the FSA within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is evident.

The Livestock, Bee, and Farmed Fish Emergency Assistance Program (ELAP) provides eligible producers with compensation for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events, or loss conditions such as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. For ELAP, growers will need to file notice of loss within 30 days and bee losses within 15 days.

The Uninsured Farm Disaster Assistance (NAP) program provides financial assistance to uninsurable crop growers to protect against natural disasters that cause lower yields or crop losses or prevent crops from being planted. For crops covered by the NAP, a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) must be filed within 15 days of the loss occurring, except for hand-harvested crops, which must be reported within 72 hours.

The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides cost-shared financial assistance to qualified arborists and nurserymen to replant or, where necessary, rehabilitate eligible trees, shrubs and vines lost by natural disasters. An allowable mortality loss greater than 15% (above normal mortality) must be incurred to trigger assistance.

“It is important to stay informed of the various programs available to your operation to recover from these severe weather events and it is equally important that you contact your local FSA office to report any crop damage and losses in a timely manner. , livestock and agricultural infrastructure.” said Steve Dick, state executive director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in South Dakota. “Required documentation such as farm records, herd inventory, receipts and photos of damage or loss will help support and expedite FSA disaster assistance.”

The FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed agricultural loans, including operating and emergency agricultural loans, to producers unable to obtain commercial financing. Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disasters may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Loans can help producers replace essential assets, purchase inputs such as livestock, equipment, feed and seeds, cover family living expenses, or refinance debts related to farming. operation and other needs. Additionally, FSA offers a variety of loan service options for borrowers who are unable to make regular payments on their agricultural loan debt to FSA for reasons beyond their control.

The On-Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade facilities to store produce. Loan terms vary from 3 to 12 years. Producers who have suffered damage or loss to their equipment or infrastructure funded by the FSFL program should contact their insurance agent and local USDA service center. Growers who require on-farm storage should also contact the USDA.

Additional USDA Disaster Assistance information is available at farmers.gov, including the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster at a Glance Fact Sheet, and Agricultural Loan Discovery Tool. For FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, growers should contact their local USDA service center. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy food and nutrients in all communities, creating new markets and income streams. for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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