OXFORD – Laura Rand, county executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency in Oxford County, has announced that eligible producers may sign up for the Crop Disaster Program at the local USDA service center. The program authorizes assistance for producers who suffered 2003 or 2004 and certain 2005 crop losses from damaging weather.

“We are pleased to be able to provide the benefits to producers as quickly as possible,” Rand said. “Drought, floods and hurricanes are unpredictable weather events that put farmers and ranchers at risk in producing a dependable and affordable national food supply.”

Eligibility for the program is similar to that of the 2001-2002 crop disaster program. Producers suffering a greater than 35 percent production loss and/or more than a 20 percent quality loss are eligible.

The payment rate has been increased to 65 percent of the established commodity price for insured crops and noninsured crops and 60 percent of the price for uninsured commodities.

Producers may apply for assistance for any crops that are eligible under the Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Assistance Program. The program results from congressional passage last October of the Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005.

The limit is $80,000 a person for all 2003/2004/2005 payments. The closing date for the sign-up will be announced later.

As part of the implementation process, the agency has prepared a fact sheet that contains information about the disaster assistance programs. For more information on the issues, visit the Web at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.