With all types of weather-related disasters facing farmers from north to south, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has information on steps growers should take to seek federal disaster assistance. Alabama, with its devastating tornadoes, has been among the worst hit. Alabama FSA State Executive Director Daniel Robinson has several tips for growers everywhere who’ve suffered losses.

"Severe weather this spring is making things very difficult for many ranchers and farmers. Learning about our FSA disaster assistance programs is an important first step for producers in the recovery process,” says Robinson. FSA administers several important programs that help producers recover from disaster damage and livestock deaths.

Among the key programs available to address impacts from disasters are:

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): provides funding for farmers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by a natural disaster (check with local FSA office for sign-up periods, which are set by county FSA committees).

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP): provides assistance to livestock producers for livestock deaths from a natural disaster event (must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of the loss event or of when the loss of livestock was apparent to the participant).

Tree Assistance Program (TAP): provides assistance to orchardists and nursery tree growers for losses due to a natural disaster (must file notice of loss within 90 calendar days from the date of the disaster event or the date when the loss of trees, bushes or vines is apparent).

Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP): provides assistance to eligible producers affected by a natural disaster, covering noninsurable crop losses and prevented planting (must file notice of loss within 15 calendar days of date of loss or of the date damage to the crop or loss of production becomes apparent to the participant).

Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program: provides assistance for crop production and/or quality losses due to a natural disaster.

Fact sheets for all of these programs can be found online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov; click on newsroom, then fact sheets. You may also visit your local FSA office for more information regarding these programs. “We encourage all who have suffered a disaster due to the recent severe weather conditions to read the fact sheets and visit their local FSA county office so they can get a quick start in the recovery process,” says Robinson.