Vilsack: USDA Has Programs to Help With Flooding

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack reached out to Louisiana farmers this week.  In an interview with Don Molino of the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Vilsack offered assistance through various USDA programs.

Vilsack strongly urged producers who have crop insurance to get in contact with their agent. There is also a livestock disaster that will play for livestock lost to the flooding in south Louisiana.

"My best advice," says Vilsack, "is for farmers and ranchers to get in contact with their local Farm Service Agency office to begin the process of reporting damages."

The Natural Resources Conservation Service also has programs to help with debris removal from your farm or ranch.

"There is also a disaster loan program through FSA," according to Vilsack. "About 69-million dollars is available nationwide for the program that is not utilized very often but it may really help rice, sugarcane and soybean growers who have suffered losses."

The secretary is also urging farmers and ranchers who still are unable to survey all parts of their operation to go ahead and start the process at their local FSA office.

And if you borrowed money from USDA to buy your home, Vilsack says you need to call USDA to apply for loan deferment arrangements. That number is: 1-800-414-1226. 

Louisiana Requests Federal Disaster Declaration

by USA Rice

KAPLAN, LA – At an emergency response meeting at Christian and Julie Richard's farm yesterday, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Mike Strain announced that he had requested a Secretarial Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that would trigger critical federal disaster assistance programs.

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