Columbia, Mo. -- Farmers and ranchers who need to recover from the recent severe storms that devastated Joplin and other areas in Missouri can turn to a team of federal agencies for assistance.
Farmers and ranchers can obtain aid tailored to their special needs from the United States Department of Agriculture. These benefits are administered by the Farm Service Agency, the Department of Agriculture's arm in Missouri.
That is in addition to the wide array of disaster recovery assistance provided by FEMA for damage to homes, temporary housing, and other assistance.
"Farmers impacted by the severe weather should know that there are a number of USDA programs that can help," said Gerald Hrdina, Conservation Program Specialist for the Missouri Farm Service Agency. "Anyone who feels they are eligible should contact their county or state FSA office."
In general, in order to qualify, farmers and ranchers must either have insurance coverage through USDA's Risk Management Agency or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. The Noninsured Crop program provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops that suffer low yields, loss of inventory or planting disruption due to natural disasters.
For crop losses, the USDA Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program provides financial assistance for crop production, as well as for quality losses due to a natural disaster.
The Tree Assistance Program offers financial assistance to qualifying orchardists to replace eligible trees, bushes, and vines damaged by natural disasters.
The Emergency Forest Restoration Program provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest land in order to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster.
For livestock losses, growers should turn to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish program. The assistance is for emergency relief to producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish. Losses qualify which are not adequately covered by any other disaster program.
For aid for lost farm animals, the Livestock Indemnity Program offers assistance to producers for livestock deaths that result from disaster.
Aid to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters is available.The Emergency Conservation Program provides both funding and technical assistance.
The Farm Service Agency also provides emergency loans to qualified ranchers and growers. The proceeds may be used to restore or replace essential property, pay production costs, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation, and to refinance certain debts. To qualify, ranchers and farmers must have suffered a 30 percent loss in crops, livestock products, real or personal property. Loans up to $500,000 are otherwise limited by actual production or by physical loss.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
The United States Department of Agriculture administers programs to help ranchers and farmers impacted by disasters through the Missouri Farm Service Agency. The Farm Service Agency may be reached in Columbia at 573-876-0932.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA disaster loan applications must submit them ...