USDA Provides Disaster Assistance to Wisconsin Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Recent Winter Storms | Business
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides technical and financial assistance to help Wisconsin farmers and ranchers recover from damage caused by winter storms Uri and Viola. Farmers are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center to learn more about programs available to help them recover from loss of crops, land, infrastructure, and livestock.
“These recent winter storms have taken their toll on Wisconsin farmers and ranchers,” said Tyler Radke, acting executive director of USDA’s Agricultural Services Agency (FSA) in Wisconsin. “We stand in solidarity with our producers who have worked tirelessly in these difficult conditions to feed the livestock and protect the crops from the wrath of Mother Nature. We know these storms left havoc in their wake, and I’m glad the USDA has such a strong portfolio of disaster assistance programs available to help.
USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact the FSA county office at the local USDA service center to apply for eligible programs and to find out what documents, such as farm records, herd inventory, receipts and photos of damage or loss should be provided to help expedite assistance. .
Producers whose livestock have died due to winter storms may be eligible for the Livestock Compensation Program. Meanwhile, the Livestock, Bees and Farmed Fish Emergency Aid program provides eligible producers with compensation for losses in fodder and pasture. For LIP and ELAP, producers will be required to file a loss notice for livestock and pasture or feed losses within 30 days and bee losses within 15 days.
Additionally, eligible orchards and nurserymen may be eligible for cost-shared assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, shrubs or vines lost during winter storms. This complements the Uninsured Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or crop insurance coverage, which covers the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases. For TAP, a program request must be submitted within 90 days.
FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed loans, including operational and emergency loans, to producers unable to obtain commercial financing. Producers in counties with a primary or contiguous disaster designation may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Loans can help producers replace essential goods, buy inputs such as livestock, equipment, feed and seeds, cover family living costs, or refinance farm and farm debts. other needs.
Growers protected against risk through federal crop insurance or FSA’s NAP should report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or the FSA office. If they have crop insurance, growers must report crop damage to their agent within 72 hours of discovery of damage and follow up in writing within 15 days. For crops covered by PAN, a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) must be filed within 15 days of the onset of the loss, except for crops harvested by hand, which must be reported within 72 hours.
The Emergency Conservation Program and the Emergency Forest Restoration Program can help landowners and forest stewards with financial and technical assistance to restore damaged farmland or forests.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also offers programs to aid the recovery process. The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) can help producers plan and implement conservation practices on farms, ranches and logged forests affected by natural disasters.
“USDA can be a very valuable partner in assisting landowners in their recovery efforts,” said Angela Biggs, state ecologist for NRCS in Wisconsin. “Our staff will work one-on-one with landowners to assess damage and develop approaches focused on effective land reclamation.”
Additional NRCS programs include the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), which provides assistance to local government sponsors for the cost of managing watershed degradation or hazards such as debris removal. and bank stabilization. Sponsors must submit a formal request (by mail or email) to the state registrar for assistance within 60 days of the occurrence of the natural disaster or within 60 days of the date on which the access to the sites is possible. For more information, please contact your local service center.
At farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, the Disaster at-a-Glance Factsheet, and the Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help producers and landowners determine options program or loan. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, growers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent. For FSA and NRCS programs, they should contact their local USDA service center.
All USDA service centers are open to business, including those that limit in-person visits or require appointments. All visitors to the service center wishing to do business with the NRCS, FSA or any service center agency should call ahead and make an appointment. Service centers open to appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors should adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face cover when visiting. Our program delivery staff will continue to work with our producers by phone, email and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.