Texas Farmers and Ranchers Have Options for Disaster Assistance

AUSTIN, July 14, 2015 - When disasters such as the May 4 through June 19 storms and floods strike, farmers and ranchers have options for help.

Farmers and ranchers affected by the May 4 to June 19 storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds may be eligible for assistance from several agencies and should apply today.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may assist survivors who are farmers and ranchers with some immediate needs including:

  • Grants to pay for temporary housing and minor home repairs,
  • Grants to replace personal property, including clothing,
  • Grants to pay for serious immediate needs not covered by insurance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may offer low-interest loans to farmers and ranchers to rebuild or repair their primary home and replace lost or damaged personal property.

  • To begin the application process, call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, or for those who use 711 or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Survivors may also apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov

Other programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) include:

Emergency loans may be used to:

  • Restore or replace essential property,Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year,
  • Pay essential family living expenses,
  • Reorganize the farming operation, and
  • Refinance certain debts, excluding real estate.
  • Provide loan applicants up to 100 percent of their total actual production and/or physical losses. Production losses must not exceed 30 percent. The maximum loan is $500,000.
  • Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides financial assistance for non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters, including grass for grazing. Eligible producers must have purchased coverage for 2015.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program with payments to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to the disaster,
  • Tree Assistance Program for nursery tree growers, vineyards and orchardists.
  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program that provides emergency relief for feed losses (including lost grazing days and baled forage) and/or water shortages, due to a disaster.
  • Emergency Conservation Program that provides emergency funding to rehabilitate land severely damaged by a natural disaster, including fencing.

Texas leads the nation in the number of farms and ranches with 248,800 farms and ranches covering more than 130 million acres. The economic impact of food and fiber grown in Texas amounts to more than $100 billion per year.

To date, the FSA has identified dozens of disaster counties and contiguous counties where farmers and ranchers are eligible for FSA emergency loans. To get more information on FSA services, go online to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

To locate your nearest FSA County office, visit: http://offices.usda.gov


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