DENTON, Texas -- A true team effort exists in response to wildfires in the state of Texas, as numerous state and federal agencies offer help to those responding to and recovering from the fires.
In addition to support from the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also have assistance programs available.
"Mother Nature has not been kind to Texas farmers and ranchers in 2011," said Juan M. Garcia, State Executive Director for Texas FSA. "Although not a remedy to the extensive hardships and heartbreak experienced by many producers this year, it's my hope that FSA's disaster programs and loans can alleviate some of the financial strain producers have suffered from the devastating impact of the recent natural disasters."
FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers statewide in their recovery efforts following wildfires or similar qualifying natural disasters. "Visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ for more details. The assistance programs available include:
- Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) which provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters; includes fence loss. (Currently, 32 counties have received ECP funding. Additional counties are being reviewed and considered for funding -- please contact the local FSA office to determine status of ECP availability).
- Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) which provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters (includes native grass for grazing).
- Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) which offers payments to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible losses may include those determined by FSA to have been caused by hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, tropical storms, tornados lightening, extreme heat, and extreme cold.
- Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) that includes payments to eligible producers who suffered grazing losses for eligible livestock because of drought or fire.
- Tree Assistance Program (TAP) for eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers for qualifying tree losses due to natural disaster.
- Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) Under the ELAP, FSA may spend up to $50 million per year to provide emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs
- Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment Program (SURE) which offers payments to eligible producers who have incurred crop production losses or crop quality losses, or both.
- Emergency Loan Program -- The recent primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation for all counties in Texas which triggered the availability of FSA's low interest (3.75%) Emergency Loans. These loans help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, wildfire and other natural disasters or quarantine.
NRCS State Conservationist Salvador Salinas said, "NRCS in Texas will help landowners to address wind erosion that continues to occur because of the drought and the effects from wildfires. Our assistance will enable landowners and livestock producers to accelerate the recovery of the health and vig...