Farmers and ranchers in many areas of the nation have been hit hard by late planting and a protracted, wet harvest season and they would benefit greatly from USDA maximizing farm bill emergency assistance programs, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Farmers are experiencing both quality and quantity losses and many still do not have crops out of the fields,” AFBF President Bob Stallman wrote in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

When a disaster of this magnitude strikes, “getting help to farmers quickly can make the difference between a farmer filing for bankruptcy and holding onto the farm in hopes of passing it on to the next generation,” Stallman wrote.

In light of the situation, Stallman urged Vilsack to maximize its use of farm bill programs such as Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments and Emergency Loans to aid farmers and ranchers.
Further, Stallman requested that USDA “act as it has in the past and provide farmers and ranchers with estimated fast-tracked partial disaster payments for the 2009 crop year as quickly as possible.”

AFBF also urged USDA to consider using its authority under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to maximize Emergency Loans program funds by offering as many farmers as possible guaranteed (rather than direct) loans.

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation