Admin outlines emergency relief options for growers

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Admin outlines emergency relief options for growers

Producers will begin receiving applications for the emergency relief program in the coming days.

Agricultural Services Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux told Brownfield that the agency began sending out the more than 300,000 pre-filled applications this week.

“The highly anticipated program has been touted as a new way of doing things by the agency and we are pleased to announce that letters are being sent to producers now that will contain the information we already have on file to help them determine whether or not they are eligible for payment under ERP,” he says. “Producers are receiving a pre-filled form in the mail from the national office this week and the days ahead. We have the information we got from our sister agency, the Risk Management Agency, to pre-populate this form with insurance information. So, if producers have suffered a compensated loss due to an eligible weather event, they can review this claim, check a box that meets the applicable requirements, sign it, and return it to their local office. This is the first phase of this new approach and phase two is due to come later this summer and will serve those who have not suffered compensated losses from qualifying weather events, but who have suffered other losses. .

The program is designed to help agricultural producers affected by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other qualifying natural disasters in 2020 and 2021.

“The weather-related events over the past two years are unique in that they occurred in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has created a great deal of economic uncertainty for our growers,” says -he. “We have deployed a variety of programs to help mitigate this, but the nature of this particular pattern of weather-related production losses is so pervasive that Congress has seen fit to put in place an ad hoc program that we will administer. .”

The deadline for returning completed Emergency Relief Program applications to the Farm Service Agency is Friday, July 22. The funding is made possible through the Government Funding Extension and Provision of Emergency Relief Act, which includes $10 billion in critical emergency relief.

The agency is also implementing the first phase of the new emergency livestock relief program.

“ELRP has been rolled out here for the past few weeks and we have already paid just over $580 million to herders who have been impacted by the drought from 2021 onwards,” he says. “What’s really unique about this program, and it’s part of a new approach we’re taking to delivering programs, is that we used the data we had in our records from their Livestock Forage Disaster Program app ( LFP) for 2021 and just released another payment without them having to fill out a form. In this, we realized that we may have overlooked some producers who did not know they were eligible. So what we are doing is letting producers know that they can come and file a late LFP application for 2021 losses which our county office will accept and send to the national office. Approved applications will receive an LFP payment in addition to an ELRP payment to help mitigate the impacts of last year’s drought.

Ducheneaux says producers interested in late filing a livestock forage disaster program application should contact their local FSA office as soon as possible.

Audio: FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux

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