June 8, 2007
June 8, 2007 - The $3 billion in agriculture disaster assistance was included in the fiscal year 2007 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill and provides assistance to producers who suffered crop and livestock losses from weather-related disasters for one of three years, 2005, 2006 or 2007. Congress approved the relief on May 24.
According to a report from Red River Farm Network, the new disaster program will require the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to obtain new computer software. According to Deputy Administrator John Johnson, the FSA computer system is already overtaxed.
"We are the 'can-do' agency," said Johnson. "While we don't have the perfect world of resources available to us, Congress did make money available to us to help with the costs, and we would expect to use that money for IT (information technology) needs; we will deliver the services to America's farmers and ranchers in a timely fashion."
Johnson did say, however, that it could take five months to get ready for the sign-up of the disaster program. Farmers and ranchers will be required to sign up with their FSA office. Reprinted from Red River Farm Network-Farmnetnews.com