Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer advises that Kentucky farmers may be able to utilize federal relief programs to get help for farm-related losses incurred since April 30 as a result of severe storms, flooding, mudslides, straight line winds and tornadoes.
“Kentucky farmers have lost thousands of acres of crops, and some had farm equipment and fences damaged,” Commissioner Farmer said. “I want them to know they are not alone. There are several programs available through the Farm Service Agency to assist them in their recovery.”
Producers who suffered at least a 30 percent loss in crop production or livestock products may apply for aid from the Emergency Loan Program (ELP). Owner-operators or tenant operators of family farms can take advantage of a low 3.75 percent interest rate to borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses up to $500,000.
The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides cost-share assistance up to $200,000 when flood damage is so severe that rehabilitating the farmland is unlikely without federal help. ECP assists in debris removal, fence restoration, grading, shaping and re-leveling as well as restoration of conservation structures. Conservation problems existing prior to the recent flooding are ineligible.
The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) provides benefits for crop losses, including nursery and aquaculture, of at least 10 percent. To be eligible for SURE payments, a producer is required to obtain crop insurance on all crops of economic significance in all counties or, if crop insurance is not available, to participate in the Non-Insured Assistance Program except for grazed acreage.
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality. Participants who apply for livestock deaths that are caused by disease are required to provide documentation to support how the disease was accelerated or exacerbated by adverse weather.
The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) provides compensation to eligible producers of livestock, honey bees and farm-raised fish. ELAP is for losses not covered by LIP or SURE, such as: feed losses, physical losses and additional cost incurred in providing feed to eligible livestock.
The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides assistance to commercial orchardists and nursery tree growers who suffer deaths of trees (including nursery, ornamental, fruit, nut or Christmas trees), bushes and vines in excess of 15 percent of normal mortality.
For more information about these programs, contact your local FSA office. To find the office nearest you, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA and click on “State Offices” at the top of the page, then the state of Kentucky. To contact the state FSA office in Lexington, call (859) 224-7601.