Oct 12, 2018Hurricane Michael response information in Georgia
Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, issued the following communication in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael hitting the region.
“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all individuals and businesses suffering losses due to Hurricane Michael. To our fruit and vegetable producers and other commodity growers, we are especially saddened to see the damage and devastation of your crops, farm structures, equipment and product ruined due to power outages. Please be assured, GFVGA is working with our congressional offices, USDA, our State FSA office and other entities to identify any program or service for which you could qualify to receive some financial assistance.
It will most likely be several weeks (or months) before program assistance could be made available, if at all. You need to have lots of pictures of your damaged fields, piles of debris cleaned up, product discarded. Along with financial records of repair, clean-up and other costs associated with the Hurricane damage. DOCUMENT-DOCUMENT-DOCUMENT.
One program we think our fruit and vegetable growers could qualify for is ECP. The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) helps farmers repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters. This program may cover clean-up costs in the fields from the hurricane damage. When you start your clean up – take pictures of the damage in the fields and pile the debris so FSA can inspect before it is disposed. Talk with your FSA office. More information is available here on the FSA website.
Listed below are other programs that may offer assistance to those with storm losses. Next week we will begin asking you to provide financial estimates of your losses so we can communicate the severity of your losses to our policy makers in Washington. GFVGA will provide updates as we have more information. We just want to be sure you have the pictures and documentation of your loss if a program is made available to you.
We are sorry for your loss and you are in our prayers.”
Additional Resources from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency:
Farm Service Agency
Local Agency Locator: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app
USDA recently launched a disaster assistance discovery tool through its new website Farmers.gov that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of which USDA disaster assistance programs can help them recover after a natural disaster.
Emergency Farm Loans
When a tornado, flood, or drought strikes, or a quarantine is imposed by the Secretary of Agriculture, or when other natural disasters occur, FSA’s Emergency loan program is there to help eligible farmers and ranchers rebuild and recover from sustained losses.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters.