Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently visited a citrus grove in Polk County, Florida, to survey the impact of Hurricane Ian and meet affected growers. He highlighted efforts by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help Florida producers recover from the devastating impact of hurricanes.
USDA is working through nearly 2,500 requests for assistance following Hurricane Ian. It has aided producers through the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).
TREE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has authorized policy exceptions for three key disaster assistance programs, including the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). TAP provides financial cost-share assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or, where applicable, rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines lost by natural disasters.
For Florida citrus producers, the deadline to file a notice of loss with FSA has been extended from 60 calendar days up to an additional two years on the timeframe to complete practices for citrus losses. A request for a practice extension must be made in writing (can be submitted via email) before the practice completion date.
Florida producers received over $190 million in federal crop insurance payments as a result of Hurricane Ian, with $134 million arriving within weeks due to the hurricane policy.
Citrus growers have received almost $79 million in indemnities for damage from Hurricane Ian. Claims are continuing to be resolved as citrus harvest is still ongoing. Final production numbers are needed to finalize claims.
On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance at a Glance fact sheet and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help producers and landowners determine program or loan options. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, contact your crop insurance agent. For FSA programs, contact your local USDA Service Center.