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Assistance Available to Farmers Impacted by Winter Storms
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/03/2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers that technical and financial assistance is available to producers who are recovering from damages brought on by winter storms Uri and Viola last month. Tyler Radke, who has been named acting director of the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency, says producers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more about these programs.

"These recent winter storms have taken their toll on farmers and ranchers in Wisconsin," Radke said. "We stand with our producers who have worked tirelessly in these severe conditions to keep livestock fed and to protect crops from Mother Nature's wrath. We know these storms have left damage in their wake, and I'm glad that USDA offers as strong portfolio of disaster assistance programs available to help."

Farmers who experience livestock deaths due to the winter storms may be eligible for the Livestock Indemnity Program. Meanwhile, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program provides eligible producers with compensation for feed and grazing losses. For LIP and ELAP, producers will need to file a notice of loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days.

Additionally, eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers may be eligible for cost-share assistance through the Tree Assistance Program to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes or vines lost during the winter storms. This complements Noninsured Crop 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 application must be filed within 90 days.

FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed loans, including operating and emergency loans, to producers unable to secure 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 property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, cover family living expenses or refinance farm-related debts and other needs.

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