Disaster assistance for farms experiencing production losses in 2011 through the USDA’s Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program will begin Oct. 22, according the John R. Whitaker, state executive director of USDA’s Iowa Farm Service Agency.
In order to be eligible for support under the 2011 program, a farm or ranch must have experienced at least a 10 percent production loss on an insured crop of economic significance prior to Sept. 30, 2011.
The farm or ranch must have also been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the secretary of agriculture under a secretarial designation.
Mahaska, Marshall and Polk counties were identified as primary disaster areas for the 2011 growing season in a press release from Oct. 12, 2011. Jasper County has thus been designated a contiguous disaster area, making farms and ranches within the county that meet the above requirements eligible for SURE benefits.
The press release states that Mahaska, Marshall and Polk counties have been designated “natural disaster areas due to losses caused by the combined effects of severe storms, excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, hail, high winds, lightning, tornadoes, landslides, mudslides, excessive heat and drought that began April 1, 2011.”
Furthermore, all insurable crops must have been insured through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and producers must have obtained Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage on all non-insurable crops from the FSA.
Certain farmers and ranchers who meet the definition of a socially disadvantaged, limited resource or beginning farmer may be eligible for SURE benefits without having obtained a crop insurance policy.
Farmers and ranchers in Jasper County that quality for the SURE Program can apply for benefits at the Jasper County FSA office at 709 First Ave. W. in Newton. For more information on the SURE program, contact the Jasper County FSA office at (641) 792-5019 or log on to http://fsa.usda.gov.