Congressman Cuellar Announces Assistance for Drought Disaster-Stricken Counties
Washington DC — Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA FSA) has declared all counties in the 28th Congressional District a disaster area due to the extreme drought. As a result of this designation, ranchers and farmers are eligible to apply with the FSA for assistance due to losses.
Counties in the 28th Congressional District eligible for assistance include Atascosa, Bexar, Hidalgo, LaSalle, McMullen, Starr, Webb, Wilson, and Zapata.
“We understand that last year’s drought affected us all one way or another, but no one took a harder and more direct hit than our ranchers and farmers,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I encourage all affected by the drought to look into these programs and apply for assistance.”
As part of the assistance program, those affected can apply for crop loss, livestock loss, and damaged farm property loss.
Under crop loss, disaster programs include: 1). NAP – Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program to cover production losses for crops when federal insurance is not available; 2). SURE – Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program for crop losses in counties declared a disaster by the Secretary of Agriculture; and 3). TAP – Tree Assistance Program for tree losses.
Four disaster programs are available under livestock loss, including: 1). ELAP – Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program for livestock not covered by LIP, for grazing losses not covered by LFP, for farm-raised fish and honeybee death, and for feed losses; 2). LFP – Livestock Forage Disaster Program for grazing losses; 3). LIP – Livestock Indemnity Program for livestock deaths; and 4). CRP – Emergency Haying and Grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acreage may be authorized to provide relief to livestock producers in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster.
For damaged farm property, those affected may apply for ECP – Emergency Conservation Program that helps rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures.
Meanwhile, those affected by all the three types of losses may qualify for two programs. The EM program provides emergency loans to restore or replace essential property damaged in the disaster, finance production losses to crops and livestock, and helps fund essential family living and farm operating expenses or refinances certain debts. The DA program, also known as Disaster Set-Aside, is for producers who have direct loans with FSA and are unable to make scheduled payments.
For more information on the disaster program, visit http:/disaster.fsa.usda.gov or to learn more about the local USDA FSA offices, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=tx&agency=fsa.