September 9, 2005
September 9, 2005 -- In addition to deploying personnel and providing food and housing assistance, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, on Wednesday, announced that USDA is making more than $170 million in emergency assistance available to agricultural producers suffering from Hurricane Katrina. In addition, USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation is implementing immediate changes to its Marketing Assistance Loan Program due to the hurricane. These changes will allow producers to obtain loans for 'on-farm' grain storage on the ground, in addition to grain bins and other normally approved structures.
"We are doing everything we can to help our Gulf Coast producers recover from the affects of Hurricane Katrina," said Johanns. "The assistance announced today is an important component of USDA's efforts and our commitment to help farmers and ranchers rebuild their operations."
USDA is providing more than $20 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds to help producers repair damage to their lands, which includes cost-share assistance for practices such as debris removal and restoration of fences and conservation structures.
A total of $152 million in Emergency Loan Program funding is available to eligible producers who have suffered at least a 30-percent reduction in crop production or have sustained physical losses to buildings, equipment or livestock.
Other assistance is also available through the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and the Debt Set-Aside Program.
All the programs are administered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). If local offices are temporarily closed, producers should attempt to contact their state FSA office.