Federal farm program benefits may be available to help eligible farmers and livestock producers recover from drought, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Maine Farm Service Agency Executive Director Don Todd.

Available programs and loans include:

* Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program: provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. It includes native grass for grazing. Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2016 crops.

* Livestock Forage Disaster Program: provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or is planted specifically for grazing. The grazing losses must be due to a qualifying drought condition during the normal grazing period for the county.

* Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program: provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. ELAP provides assistance for losses resulting from the cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought. Producers can apply to receive ELAP assistance at local FSA service centers. For the 2016 program year, the application period ends on Nov. 1.

* Emergency Loan Program: available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous secretarial disaster designation. These low-interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought.

* Emergency Conservation Program: provides emergency funding for farmers to install water conservation measures during periods of severe drought to supply emergency water for livestock, including confined livestock and poultry and existing eligible irrigation systems serving orchards and vineyards.

* Tree Assistance Program: provides assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers for qualifying tree, shrub and vine losses due to natural disaster.

* HayNet: an internet-based hay and grazing net ad service allowing farmers and livestock producers to share “need hay” ads and “have hay” ads online. Farmers also can use another feature to post advertisements for grazing land, specifically ads announcing the availability of grazing land or ads requesting a need for land to graze. FMI: www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet.

FMI: www.fsa.usda.gov, offices.usda.gov.


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