USDA Office of
Apr 15, 2019
April 15, 2019 - To help residents, farmers,
and ranchers affected by the devastation caused by recent flooding, U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has directed the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) to aid Iowans in their recovery efforts. USDA staff in the
regional, state, and county offices are providing a variety of program
flexibilities and other assistance to residents, agricultural producers, and
impacted communities at large.
“USDA is committed to
helping Iowa farmers, ranchers and communities impacted by the devastating
flooding to successfully recover following this disaster,” Perdue said. “Our
staff in your local USDA Service Center is eager to help connect you with the
vital services we offer, and where possible, putting people before paperwork.”
Beginning today, USDA’s Farm
Service Agency (FSA) offices in the Iowa counties of Fremont, Harrison, Mills,
Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury are accepting applications for the Emergency
Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from spring flooding.
ECP enrollment deadlines may vary by county, as such, producers need to contact
their local FSA office for more information. Additional flexibilities have been
provided to help reduce and streamline the burdensome environmental assessments
typically required by ECP.
Last week, FSA also
announced that emergency grazing use of Conservation
Reserve Program acres is approved in Iowa through May 14, 2019.
Orchardists and nursery tree growers may be eligible for assistance through
USDA’s Tree Assistance
Program to help replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and
vines damaged by natural disasters.
USDA’s Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial resources through its Environmental
Quality Incentives Program to help with immediate needs and
long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water
USDA’s Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service has information about protecting livestock on its Protecting
Livestock During a Disaster page. Additionally, the agency is
helping to meet the emergency needs of pets and their owners, as inspectors are
coordinating closely with zoos, breeders, and other licensed facilities in the
region to ensure the safety of animals in their care.
When major disasters strike,
USDA has an emergency loan program that provides eligible farmers low-interest loans
to help them recover from production and physical losses. USDA also offers
additional programs tailored to the needs of specific agricultural sectors to
help producers weather the financial impacts of major disasters and rebuild
Livestock owners and
contract growers who experience above normal livestock deaths due to specific
weather events, as well as to disease or animal attacks, may qualify for
assistance under USDA’s Livestock Indemnity
Program. Producers who suffer losses to or are prevented from
planting agricultural commodities not covered by federal crop insurance may be
eligible for assistance under USDA's Noninsured Crop
Disaster Assistance Program if the losses were due to natural
Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program
provides payments to these producers to help compensate for losses due to
disease (including cattle tick fever), and adverse weather or other conditions,
such as blizzards and wildfires, that are not covered by certain other disaster
Following the flooding in
Iowa, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved Iowa’s request to
operate the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in the
Iowa counties of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Woodbury. Households that
may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP if
they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related
FNS also is providing
extended time for current SNAP recipients in these Iowa counties to seek
replacement of food lost due to the disaster. SNAP regulations normally require
households to report lost food within 10 days of purchase. However, USDA
approved the Iowa Department of Human Services’ request to extend this time
period, so SNAP households have until April 30, 2019, to request replacement
As residents make it back
into their homes, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is helping
ensure they are taking the proper steps to reduce the risk of foodborne
illness. Food safety tips after a power outage and flooding are available on
the FSIS website.
USDA encourages those whose
homes flooded during the storm to take steps to protect the safety of their
Tips to protect food safety
after flooding occurs:
During declared natural
disasters that lead to imminent threats to life and property, NRCS can assist
local government sponsors with the cost of implementing recovery efforts such
as debris removal and streambank stabilization to address natural resource
concerns and hazards through the Emergency Watershed
USDA Rural Development (RD)
offers technical assistance, loans, grants, and loan guarantees to rural
communities and individuals to assist with the construction or rehabilitation
of utility infrastructure including water and wastewater systems, community
infrastructure, and housing.
Homeowners who have an RD
home loan and were impacted by the flood should call the Customer Service
Center at 800-414-1226 to discuss payment assistance options. Homeowners with
an RD guaranteed home loan should immediately contact their lender and file an
Rural communities of 10,000
or fewer residents who have suffered a significant decline in the quantity or
quality of their water may be eligible for Emergency Community Water Assistance
Grants to establish new water sources or repair water transmission lines.
Communities also may be eligible for Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural
Communities and Households grants to begin developing feasibility studies for
new water and waste disposal projects. Please contact USDA Rural Development
staff in the Atlantic office at712-243-2107, Ext. 4, or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia
for more information.
RD also partners with the
U.S. Small Business Administration to assist rural businesses impacted by
natural disasters. Please call 515-284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-industry-loan-guarantees/ia
for more information.
RD offers more than 40
direct loan, guaranteed loan, grant and technical assistance programs to help
communities impacted by natural disasters with their long-term recovery and
rehabilitation efforts. The programs assist rural communities and individuals
with the construction or rehabilitation of utility infrastructure including
water, wastewater, electric and telecommunications systems. They also help
expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas, expand housing
opportunities, and enhance community services such as public safety, education
and health care.
Additional information can
be found at www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/services/rural-development-disaster-assistance.
Visit USDA’s disaster resources
website to learn more about USDA disaster preparedness and response.
For more information on USDA disaster assistance programs, please contact your
local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center go to offices.usda.gov.