Millions in hurricane relief for agribusiness available

Florence rain
Rainfall from Hurricane Florence brought catastrophic flooding to many farms in Southeastern North Carolina (NWS graphic)

Farmers who suffered damages in Hurricanes Florence, Michael and Dorian could qualify for direct payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has received a $79.6 million USDA block grant to assist producers and woodland owners in 90 counties who suffered losses in 2018-2019 from Hurricanes Florence, Michael and Dorian. The application period runs July 1 to Oct. 1. 
This program will offer direct payments to eligible poultry/livestock and plasticulture producers. Assistance will only involve losses associated with these hurricanes that were not covered under other USDA disaster programs. 

“Eligibility requirements differ significantly between the agricultural and forestry categories of this block grant,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I would encourage farmers and forest owners who think they may be eligible to check the online links for the agricultural applications or contact their local N.C. Forest Service County Ranger Office for the ‘Woodland Recovery’ component.”
Poultry/livestock and plasticulture producers will need a current and completed IRS W9 form ready to scan into the application. Additionally, growers are encouraged to research and gather any evidence of poultry/swine structure damage and any damage evidence for plasticulture and greenhouses from those specific storms. They should be prepared to scan documents into the application for consideration of payment.

This program will also offer technical and financial assistance to woodland owners in the emergency-declared counties that were affected by these hurricanes. Comprehensive forest management plans will be offered to those landowners in order to assess the storm impacts to their woodlands and identify beneficial management recommendations. 

Details about the “Woodland Recovery” program will be available beginning mid-July by contacting a local N.C. Forest Service County Ranger’s office. A list of contacts can be found at https://www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts/contacts_main.htm 
For more information, including links to the poultry/livestock and plasticulture applications, visit www.ncagr.gov/agriculturaldisasterprogram or call 1-919-707-3362.

About Jefferson Weaver 2040 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].