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USDA to assist farmers and ranchers impacted by Hurricane Laura

Farmers and ranchers impacted by Hurricane Laura may qualify for assistance from USDA programs.

“Hurricane Laura has taken a heavy toll, but USDA stands ready to assist those in need,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “This Administration remains committed to supporting the people and agricultural producers in the Gulf Coast, and we will be there, providing all the support we can, for as long as we can, to get them back on their feet.”

The USDA is helping residents in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi recover by helping farm production and conservation agencies weather financial impacts as well as assisting operations to recover.

Helping producers weather financial impacts

An emergency loan program is available to provide eligible farmers low-interest loans to help them recover from production and physical losses.

  • Livestock owners and contract growers who experience above normal livestock deaths due to specific weather events, as well as to disease, injury or animal attacks, may qualifiy for assistance under USDA’s  Livestock Indemnity Program. Livestock, honeybee and farm-raised fish producers whose mechanically harvested or purchased livestock feed was physically damaged or destroyed; or who lost grazing acres or beehives due to an extreme weather event may qualify for assistance.

  • Producers of non-insurable crops who suffer crop losses, lower yields or are prevented from planting agricultural commodities may be eligible for assistance under USDA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program if the losses were due to natural disasters.

Helping operations recover

Farmers and ranchers that suffered damage to working lands and livestock mortality due to a qualifying natural disaster can contact their local USDA Service Center. USDA has multiple programs to help producers manage their operations.

  • The Environmental Quality Incentives Program can help operations with immediate needs and long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water resources. Assistance may also be available for emergency animal mortality disposal from natural disasters and other causes.
  • Farmers and ranchers needing to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters can apply for assistance through USDA’s Emergency Conservation Program. USDA also has assistance available for eligible private forest landowners who need to restore forestland damaged by natural disasters through the Emergency Forest Restoration Program.
  • Orchardists and nursery tree growers may be eligible for assistance through USDA’s Tree Assistance Program to help replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines damaged by natural disasters.

Visit USDA’s disaster resources website to learn more about USDA disaster preparedness and response. For more information on USDA disaster assistance programs, contact your local USDA Service Center.

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