Agriculture Secretary Vilsack also reminds producers that the department's authority to operate the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2011. This includes SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.
To deliver assistance to those who need it most, Secretary Vilsack effectively reduced the interest rate for Emergency Loans in July 2012, while streamlining the Secretarial disaster designations process, resulting in a 40-percent reduction in processing time for most counties affected by disasters. Among other administrative actions, USDA has also worked with crop insurance companies to provide more flexibility to farmers.
USDA will continue working with state and local officials, as well as our federal partners, to make sure people have the necessary resources to recover from this challenge.
Crops insured by federal crop insurance or by the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) are covered when floodwaters have rendered them valueless. USDA encourages all farmers and ranchers to contact their crop insurance companies and local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Centers, as applicable, to report damages to crops or livestock loss. More information about federal crop insurance may be found at www.rma.usda.gov. Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding and other damage may be found at www.usda.gov/disaster.
To find the USDA Service Center nearest you, please visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=us&agency=fsa.