USDA's Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager and Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse are touring flooded areas in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, meeting with those affected by recent disasters. According to Scuse, the first-hand assessments will allow them to identify the unique farm safety net and rural community development needs of the impacted region.
"With assistance from USDA and other Federal agencies, the Obama Administration is working to help residents, farmers, ranchers and businesses that have been hard hit by recent floods and tornadoes," said Tonsager.
USDA's Farm Service Agency provides emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to natural disasters. Producers will be eligible for these loans as soon as their county is declared a Presidential or Secretarial disaster county.
In rural communities, USDA's Rural Development will continue to work with existing individual and community borrowers that have been affected by a natural disaster to help them with their loans. With respect to loans guaranteed by Rural Development, borrowers should initially contact their lender for assistance.
USDA's Risk Management Agency reminds producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant, or crop losses this spring to contact their crop insurance agent for more information. USDA is working with the States affected to determine what damages qualify for crop insurance indemnities and/or the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. As announced by USDA earlier in May, producers who farm in the Morganza and Birds Point-New Madrid Floodways and purchased crop insurance will be eligible for crop insurance indemnities in accordance with the provisions of their crop insurance policies. Those producers who are unable to plant, but have purchased crop insurance, will be eligible for prevented planting payments in accordance with the provisions of their policies.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service administers the Emergency Watershed Protection program, which provides assistance to areas that have been damaged by natural disasters, such as floods, windstorms, drought, and wildfires.
USDA staff in the affected states can work with citizens and state and local and other federal officials to explain the type of aid that is available. For additional information and updates about USDA's relief efforts please visit www.usda.gov.