Grants given to farmers affected by tornados
By: Sydney Sheffield
Assistance through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be available to farmers and ranchers affected by the severe weather and EF-4 tornado in Mississippi last month. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is also helping affected residents take steps to reduce their risk of foodborne illness as they return to their homes after severe weather.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost loved ones in the terrible tornadoes in Mississippi and with the communities who must rebuild their homes and businesses,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Alongside our federal partners, USDA is ready to provide assistance to those impacted by these storms.”
USDA provides tools for farmers and ranchers to manage their risk through the Federal Crop Insurance Program, a public-private partnership between USDA’s Risk Management Agency and private companies and agents. For crops that do not have crop insurance available, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) is available through the local Farm Service Agency (FSA). This risk protection includes crop production loss and tree loss for certain crop insurance products.
Producers who suffer losses and are signed up for Federal Crop Insurance or NAP are asked to report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office, respectively, within 72 hours of discovering the damage and follow up in writing within 15 days.
Producers who have not applied for NAP coverage may still be covered. FSA has updated NAP to remove barriers and establish procedures through which an underserved producer with a CCC-860, “Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification,” on file prior to the applicable NAP application closing date will automatically receive basic coverage for any NAP-eligible crops. Like all NAP-covered producers, underserved producers will still need to file a notice of loss and apply for program benefits.
In addition, there are several USA programs to support livestock producers. The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee, and Farm-raised Fish Program reimburse producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry, and other animals that were killed or severely injured by a natural disaster or loss of feed and grazing acres.
Learn more about helping those affected through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency here.