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Secretary of Agriculture Perdue issues disaster designation for many Iowa counties after August 10 derecho


This news story was published on September 4, 2020.
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Storm damage in Iowa

DES MOINES – United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue approved Gov. Reynolds request for a Secretarial disaster declaration for Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama Counties.

In accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, 24 additional counties were designated contiguous natural disaster counties, including: Adair, Audubon, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Delaware, Dubuque, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Iowa, Jackson, Keokuk, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Muscatine, Warren, Washington, Webster, and Wright.

“I want to thank President Trump, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and the entire administration for their continued support for Iowa’s derecho recovery,” said Gov. Reynolds on Thursday, Sept. 3. “This designation by Secretary Perdue extends a low-interest lifeline to farmers affected by this devastating storm in the 42 counties considered primary and contiguous natural disaster areas.”

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.

Governor Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Perdue, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig for an aerial tour of crop and structural damage caused by the recent storm and ongoing drought. The flight was part of a tour hosted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship featuring conservation and innovation in Iowa agriculture.

“Today we visited with farmers and leaders of the ag community about what else we can do going forward so our farmers can come back stronger than ever,” Gov. Reynolds continued. “I want to commend the continued coordination and collaboration between various state, local and federal officials involved throughout the derecho recovery process.”

Sonny Perdue

“The extent of damage to crops, equipment, facilities, and the ag sector as a whole from this storm is devastating,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump has already demonstrated his support for Iowa by immediately approving Iowa’s disaster declaration. He is committed to ensuring Iowa’s farmers get back on their feet and continue to produce the food and fuel America needs to thrive. The recovery process is in full swing, and USDA is working diligently to expedite financial and technical support for Iowa farmers and livestock producers who have suffered unprecedented losses. We are standing by to expand this designation as we learn more about the full impacts of the Derecho.”

Emergency Loans
These natural disaster designations allow the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or the refinancing of certain debts.
Iowa Counties – Primary Designation
Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama may be eligible to apply for emergency loans.
Iowa and Illinois – Contiguous Designation
Producers in the contiguous counties listed below are also eligible to apply for emergency loans:
  • Iowa: Adair, Audubon, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Delaware, Dubuque, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Iowa, Jackson, Keokuk, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Muscatine, Warren, Washington, Webster, and Wright.
  • Illinois: Carroll, Rock Island, and Whiteside.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is May 3, 2021.
FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.
Flexibilities on Environmental Compliance Reviews
To assist producers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and other states impacted by the Derecho, FSA has streamlined the environmental compliance review process for the Emergency Conservation Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program, Emergency Loan Program, Farm Storage Facility Program, and Tree Assistance Program. Implementation of these programs has been determined to have potentially low impact to protected resources.
These program flexibilities are meant to address work required to restore existing crops, fields, orchards, barns, storage facilities, fences, equipment, and general debris removal. Work required on previously undisturbed ground, new land clearing, or work that would impact any water body, wetland, riparian buffer, or wetland would not be covered by the streamlined environmental review process.
EQIP Special Signup
Additionally, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $4 million in recovery assistance through a special EQIP signup in parts of Iowa impacted by the Derecho. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 2, 2020. Eligible applicants will receive higher than normal EQIP practice payments rates during this signup.
These EQIP funds can be used for:
  • Seeding cover crops on impacted fields;
  • Replacing roofs, covers, or roof runoff structures previously funded through NRCS; and
  • Replacing damaged high tunnel systems previously funded by NRCS.
More Information
In addition to emergency loans and EQIP, other available programs include the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program, Livestock Forage Disaster Program, Livestock Indemnity Program, and Operating and Farm Ownership Loans. These programs and other available recovery assistance do not require a disaster designation.
Producers and landowners can use the online Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, answering five questions to identify USDA programs that will help meet disaster recovery needs.
For more information on all USDA disaster assistance programs, visit farmers.gov/recover, or contact your local USDA Service Center, which can be found at farmers.gov/service-center-locator. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, please contact your crop insurance agent.

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One Response to Secretary of Agriculture Perdue issues disaster designation for many Iowa counties after August 10 derecho

  1. Avatar

    mint Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2020 at 7:20 am

    man is responsible for all of the weather chaos, well planned weather modification using Nanotechnology, 100% true, man controls the weather. research patents first