August 17, 2008
New Farm Disaster Aid Available
MACHIAS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency in Maine recently announced that it will allow producers who otherwise would be ineligible for the new disaster assistance programs to become eligible by paying a fee as required by the 2008 Farm Bill.
The 2008 Farm Bill requires producers who want to participate in the new disaster programs to have crop insurance or noninsured crop disaster assistance coverage for their land. The Farm Bill authorizes a waiver that allows producers to pay what is called a "buy-in" fee to be eligible for this new disaster assistance.Funds from the Farm Bill will pay farmers and ranchers who qualify for crop production and quality losses under the following programs:
. The SURE program will be available to eligible producers on farms in disaster counties, including contiguous counties that have incurred crop production losses and-or crop quality losses during the season. It also will be available to any farm where, during the calendar year, the total loss of production on the farm, because of weather, is greater than 50 percent of the normal production of the farm.
. The LFP program will be available to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for eligible livestock because of drought on land that is either native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or planted to a crop that specifically provides for grazing. The LFP program also will be available to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for eligible livestock because of fire on rangeland managed by a federal agency, if the producer is now prohibited from grazing livestock on the land.
. The LIP program will be available to eligible livestock producers on farms that have incurred livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality because of adverse weather during the calendar year, including losses because of hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold.
. The TAP program provides assistance to orchardists and eligible nursery tree growers who produce nursery, ornamental, fruit, nut or Christmas trees for commercial sale that lost trees, bushes or vines because of a natural disaster, as determined by the secretary.
. The ELAP program will provide emergency relief to producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish on losses from adverse weather and other natural conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the secretary.
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