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Disaster Relief Assistance for Farmers Impacted by Northern Michigan Fruit Crop Damage
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently granted disaster relief assistance for farmers whose fruit crops were affected by spring freezes and severe drought.
To apply for assistance, farmers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office. Please note that farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. The deadline for application for freeze damage assistance is February 2013 and the deadline for drought damage assistance is April 2013.
Dr. Benishek is pleased Secretary Vilsack and the USDA have recognized the critical need to help the many Northern Michigan farmers who were impacted by these natural disasters. With the help of these low-interest federal loans, our farmers will be able to persevere through this challenging growing season and keep their businesses open.
The funding for this relief was previously allocated and does not represent any new federal spending.
Eligible Counties for Freeze Assistance:
In total, 72 counties in the state requested disaster designation. Of those counties, 26 are in Michigan’s First Congressional District and will receive aid – Alcona, Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Emmet, Gladwin, Iosco, Iron, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Monominee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Preque Isle and Schoolcraft.
Eligible Counties for Drought Assistance:
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on August 29, 2012 that all 83 counties in Michigan would be given primary disaster designation, thus making Michigan farmers eligible for disaster assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The assistance is in the form of low interest federal loans.
Dr. Benishek, along with other members of the Michigan Congressional delegation, sent a letter on June 8 to Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting the USDA grant low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency to help farmers. Additionally, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed legislation that allows up to $300 million in low-interest state loans for affected framers.
If you are a farmer having difficulty getting financial assistance from these weather related disasters, please contact our Gaylord office at 989-448-8811.
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