Hurricane Sandy Damage? Sign Up Now for Emergency Conservation Program

Producers who suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy have until January 29, 2013 to sign up for cost-share assistance through the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). Removing debris from farmland and restoring permanent fencing are two rehabilitation measures that may be eligible for assistance of up to 75% of their cost. To be eligible, approved restoration measures must not be carried out until an application has been filed, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) has done an on-site inspection of damage, and a needs determination has been made by the appropriate agency.

Contact your local FSA office to find out whether your farm is eligible and how to apply. Also see Farm Aid’s list of resources for farmers facing natural disasters, as well as an earlier blog post on post-Sandy resources.

Resources for Family Farmers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy barrels into the Northeast, many farmers are feeling the impact of this superstorm. Family farm organizations, state departments of agriculture and emergency management agencies have issued warning, urging farmers to prepare for the storm’s damage. The National Young Farmers’ Coalition has compiled a list of preparedness suggestions to help farmers minimize destruction to their crops, livestock, equipment and farmland.

As the storm continues, farmers are encouraged to take important steps to prepare for the after-effects:

  • Compile important phone numbers and documents for your county extension agent, crop insurance agent, emergency management district, county Farm Service Agency (FSA) and veterinarians.
  • Document and photograph farm losses to report to your state’s FSA office.
  • Visit the FSA website for more information on Disaster Assistance Programs.
  • Any damage to homes or barns should be reported to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA.

For state-specific information about Hurricane Sandy, contact your state’s department of agriculture.

This post will be updated with more resources as they come in. Please let us know if we are missing any important information or assistance programs. Stay safe!

**UPDATE** For information on how to support recovery efforts in state’s affected by Sandy, visit the Responding to Sandy resources page compiled by The Vermont Community Foundation. Visit Farm Aid’s Disaster Assistance for Family Farmers page for a comprehensive list of recovery resources available to farmers facing natural disasters.

 

Resources for Farmers Facing Drought Disaster

The National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service (ATTRA), managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has put together a wealth of resources on Water Quality, Conservation, Drought, and Irrigation for farmers across the country facing this historic and severe drought (see the U.S. Drought Monitor map for the most up-to-date conditions across the country). These publications offer information and recommendations for drought-stricken farmers on topics that address crop and livestock water use and conservation, soil moisture management and proper irrigation. Examples, include:

For more information and to access these resources, visit ATTRA’s Drought Resource Guide webpage. Also, be sure to consult Farm Aid’s Diaster Assistance for Farmers page for additional assistance farmers can consider when disasters strike.

 

Equine Operations Now Eligible for Farm Service Agency Emergency Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has expanded the FSA emergency loan program to include assistance for equine operations facing losses due to natural disasters.

Certain equine farms and ranches within or contiguous to a county  declared a disaster area by the President or the Secretary of Agriculture can apply for emergency funds to restore or replace essential property, cover production costs associated with the disaster, pay essential living expenses, reorganize the operation, and refinance certain debts.

For more information on FSA’s emergency loan program eligibility, requirements, terms and conditions, please refer to the FSA emergency loan program fact sheet and www.fsa.usda.gov.