After repeated requests from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now allowing Texas ranchers plagued by drought and wildfires to apply for much-needed emergency assistance.
"This is welcome news for our Texas producers who are suffering from record drought and devastating wildfires," Commissioner Staples said. "The Texas Department of Agriculture and producer groups around the state worked hard to get these funds into the 2008 farm bill. I am glad to see the federal government is finally getting around to putting these disaster funds into action."
Producers may begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), which provides payments to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock grazing losses to drought or fire. Also available is the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), which allocates emergency assistance to eligible producers who have suffered losses to disease or adverse weather. For more information or to apply for LFP or ELAP, please visit your FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
Commissioner Staples continues to press USDA to activate the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment Program. This program, also approved in the 2008 farm bill, provides assistance to farmers who have lost crops due to drought and other disasters. For a list of anticipated benchmark dates for this and other disaster assistance programs, go to www.texasagriculture.gov/vgn/tda/files/1848/33597_FSA%20DISASTER%20PROGRAMS.xls.
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