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Farmers have until May 5 to apply for dairy disaster assistance

April 22, 2008

Colleen Cashell, executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, reminds eligible dairy producers who suffered milk production losses due to extreme heat in 2005 or 2007 that they have until May 5 to apply to receive benefits under the Dairy Disaster Assistance Program by visiting the county FSA office.

The application process requires proof of milk production from years 2003, 2004, and 2005 and/or 2007. Also, the producer must provide the average number of dairy cows in their herd for each of those years.

"Dairy producers across the country will share in $16 million in benefits for production losses that occurred between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, because of natural disasters," Cashell said.

"To be eligible, a producer's operation must be in a county designated a major disaster or emergency area by the president or declared a natural disaster area by the secretary of agriculture between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007. Producers in contiguous counties are also eligible.

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"Producers in counties declared disaster areas by the president may be eligible, even though the agricultural loss was not covered by the declaration, if an FSA Administrator's Physical Loss Notice covered such losses."

For more information or to sign up, producers should visit the Washington County office at 1260 Maryland Ave. in Hagerstown.

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