Disaster Assistance Available for Drought Conditions Through the USDA FSA
Due to the drought conditions experienced through much of the state, disaster assistance is available through the USDA FSA offices. FSA named nine primary counties eligible for assistance: Chippewa, Dunn, Jackson, La Crosse, Outagamie, Price, Rusk, Taylor, and Wood. FSA named contiguous counties also eligible for assistance: Adams, Ashland, Barron, Brown, Calumet, Clark, Eau Claire, Iron, Juneau, Lincoln, Marathon, Monroe, Oneida, Pepin, Peirce, Polk, Portage, St Croix, Sawyer, Shawano, Trempealeau, Vernon, Vilas, Washburn, Waupaca, and Winnebago.
Counties that saw severe drought conditions for eight weeks or more are eligible for the disaster assistance. USDA provides disaster assistance programs that farmers and ranchers impacted by drought. A few are listed here:
- ELAP: The Emergency Assistance for livestock, honeybees & and farm-raised fish program provides financial assistance for losses due to death, feed, grazing, and associated transportation cost.
- LFP: The Livestock Forage Disaster Program provides compensation to producers on specific pasture and grazing lands.
- NAP: The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program covers non-federally covered crop insurance for those producers who are enrolled in the program.
- ECP: The Emergency Conservation Program provides funding to rehabilitate farmland effected by disaster and carry over emergency water conservation measures during the periods of a drought.
These are just some of the disaster programs that farmers and ranchers may qualify for due to the disaster designation given to the above counties, and many times are limited to actual losses accrued. Other options may be available such as low interest direct loans or payment deferrals on certain loans.
The application deadline for the disaster assistance programs is May 6, 2024. If you believe you experienced loss due to the drought conditions, please visit the FSA USDA website or contact your local FSA office. As a reminder, whenever you experience a loss, please talk with your ag lender as communication is always the first step to recovery. Security Financial Bank is an FSA Preferred Lender and works closely on the FSA Guaranteed Loan Program. More information on the USDA drought assistance here: Drought | USDA.