Sign-up for farm programs starts Tuesday

Farmers and ranchers can sign up for disaster assistance programs, re-established and strengthened by the 2014 farm bill, beginning Tuesday, according to the Farm Service Agency.
The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program will provide payments to eligible farmers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and will include calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Enrollment also begins Tuesday for farmers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program and the Tree Assistance Program in 2011, when the programs expired, through 2014.
The livestock program provides financial assistance to eligible farmers who have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions such as wildfires.
The Tree Assistance Program provides financial assistance to qualifying orchard owners and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
The Livestock Indemnity Program provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. The program provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire.
To expedite applications, farmers who had losses should bring records documenting the losses to the Farm Service Agency county office. They should contact the county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment.
For more information, farmers may review the various programs’ fact sheets online or visit the Hancock County Farm Service Agency office, 7868 Hancock County 140, Suite C.

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