The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson reminded producers about upcoming deadlines for disaster assistance. Nelson emphasized that losses must be the result of a weather event occurring on or before Sept. 30, 2011.
"This year brought a host of extreme weather challenges for America's farmers, ranchers and producers," said Nelson. "USDA is committed to use the resources at our disposal to reduce the impact of these conditions and help producers get back on their feet. And this year, especially, it's important for producers to be aware of program deadlines and to have their records in order so that they get the assistance they need."
The 2008 farm bill authorizes coverage of disaster losses through these five programs:
Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE); Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
SURE applications for 2010 crop losses will be accepted later this fall. SURE applications for 2011 crop losses will be accepted in the fall of 2012, when the 2011 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available.
FSA is required to determine that the claimed loss was because of a disaster occurring on or before Sept. 30, 2011. FSA must determine if a qualifying loss meets the established disaster relief criteria for at least one crop.
At the time the SURE application for payment is filed, the producer will be required to identify and certify a crop of economic significance that suffered a qualifying loss of 10 percent or more. At least one such crop with 10-percent losses on or before Sept. 30, 2011, is required by SURE.
"We encourage all producers to read the applicable disaster program fact sheets and visit their local FSA county office. The staff can provide additional information such as the deadline for filing a program application or the initial requirement for filing a notice of loss," Nelson said.
Important dates for the five disaster programs are summarized in the table below.