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Farmers can apply for crop disaster assistance from USDA

October 30, 2007

Colleen Cashell, county executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County announced that eligible farmers who suffered losses of quantity of their crops due to natural disaster weather-related events in 2005 or 2006 or on crops planted before Feb. 28, 2007, can enroll in the Crop Disaster Program 2005-2007 at local FSA service centers.

FSA will announce and conduct sign-up for quality losses under CDP as soon as possible. FSA offices may accept information from producers about quality losses when producers submit applications for quantity losses. However, FSA will only consider quality loss applications complete after FSA announces the quality loss sign-up date. FSA will not consider applications completed for any loss, including quantity losses, until a final rule has been issued for this program.

Only producers who obtained crop insurance coverage or coverage under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for the year of loss will be eligible for CDP benefits. Producers must have suffered quantity losses in excess of 35 percent to be eligible for CDP. The payment rate is set at 42 percent of the established price. Assistance, together with any crop insurance or NAP payment received for the same crop and including the value of the crop production not lost, must not exceed 95 percent of the total value of the crop absent the disaster. Producers who incurred qualifying losses in 2005, 2006 or 2007 must choose only one year to receive benefits. Producers may apply for benefits for losses to multiple crops as long as the losses occurred in the same crop year.

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"Many local crop farmers suffered major financial losses as the result of drought and nationwide many producers suffered from a variety of other natural disasters during the last couple years," said Cashell. "This program will help many American farmers to maintain viable businesses so consumers at home and abroad have the food and fiber they need to survive."

The U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, signed into law May 25 by President Bush, authorizes CDP.

For more information about CDP and other disaster programs recently implemented by FSA, visit http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov. Washington County producers should visit the county office at 1260 Maryland Ave, Suite 107, Hagerstown, to make applications.

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