This past week was full of excitement in the Farm Service Agency office. We celebrated Administrative Professionals Day and also National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
My daughter came to work with me and learned about several programs we offer.
One program she read about was the Dairy Disaster Assistance Program, available to eligible dairy producers who suffered production losses in 2005, 2006 or 2007.
The Dairy Disaster Assistance Program III resumed March 5. Farm Service Agency began enrolling producers in late 2007 and early 2008, then temporarily halted sign-up pending the completion of rulemaking which began with the issuance of a proposed rule for public comments on the program.
Based on public comments, Farm Service Agency made minor changes to the proposed Dairy Disaster Assistance Program III rules. These changes are explained in the final regulations, which were published in the March 4 Federal Register.
Producers can sign up at their local USDA Farm Service Agency service center until May 5, when sign-up will end.
This dairy program will provide $16 million in benefits to dairy producers for dairy production losses that occurred between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, because of natural disasters.
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.
Producers will need to provide to their local Farm Service Agency office the annual marketed production and average number of cows in the dairy herd for 2003, and 2004, to determine base production.
To calculate the loss, Farm Service Agency must also know the dairy’s production and the average number of cows in the dairy herd for the applicable disaster years. Losses will be calculated by comparing the expected base annual production (from 2003, and 2004) and the actual production during the applicable disaster claim year.
Farm Service Agency may adjust calculations when losses are not caused by disaster. Also, the agency continues to accept applications and make payments for quantity losses under Crop Disaster Program that occurred before Dec. 31, 2007.
Farm Service Agency continues to issue Livestock Compensation Program and Livestock Indemnity Program payments for losses that occurred in designated disaster counties. No ending date has been announced for those programs.
Farm Service Agency will conduct sign-up and begin making payments for quality losses under Crop Disaster Program later this spring.
To find more information about Farm Service Agency and its disaster assistance programs, log onto the Farm Service Agency Web site at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.
That’s all for now,