Farmers find relief in disaster programs in 2017

The acting administrator of Farm Service Agency says disaster programs have been crucial to farmers battling extreme weather conditions this year.

Steven Peterson says four disaster programs– the livestock indemnity program, tree assistance program, livestock forage disaster program, and the emergency assistance for livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish– made permanent by the 2014 Farm Bill helped farmers during hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and more.

“These programs range widely from providing assistance on livestock deaths, on grazing forage losses, and they help to reestablish and rehabilitate trees that have been lost,” he says.

He tells Brownfield farmers rely on programs to remain productive.

“It’s shown in 2017 that when you have a disaster that comes along, those programs can step in and provide assistance for producers who are not being able to harvest or market their crop because of the devastation they’ve received,” he says.

Peterson says the Conservation Reserve Program can also help farmers during disasters by allowing emergency grazing on land enrolled in CRP.

In 2017 producers in Florida and Texas were impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and wildfires damaged farms and ranches in Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

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