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USDA Aids South Dakota Flood Recovery

USDA Aids South Dakota Flood Recovery

By Scout Nelson

Recent heavy rainfall and flooding have severely impacted agricultural operations in South Dakota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is stepping up to offer both technical and financial assistance to help farmers and livestock producers recover from the damage caused to crops, land, infrastructure, and livestock.

USDA Disaster Assistance:

Affected producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and explore the available recovery programs. For livestock producers, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is available for those who have experienced livestock deaths exceeding normal mortality or have sold injured livestock at reduced prices.

"To participate in LIP, producers will have to provide acceptable documentation of death losses," and they must submit a notice of loss to the USDA Farm Service Agency by March 3, 2025, for 2024 calendar year losses.

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) compensates for feed and grazing losses. Applications for ELAP must be submitted no later than Jan. 30, 2025, for losses incurred in the 2024 calendar year.

Tree and Crop Recovery Programs:

Orchardists and nursery tree growers may seek cost-share assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) for replanting or rehabilitating eligible trees, bushes, or vines. This program works with the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and crop insurance to cover plant losses not typically covered by crop-only insurance.

Risk Management and Insurance:

Producers with Federal Crop Insurance or covered by NAP should report crop damage within prescribed deadlines to ensure they can access their benefits. "The Approved Insurance Providers, loss adjusters, and agents are experienced and well-trained in handling these types of events," says Eric Bashore, Director of USDA’s Risk Management Agency Regional Office.

Conservation and Recovery Efforts:

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides support through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to implement conservation practices on damaged lands.

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) also offer financial and technical assistance to restore fencing, farmland, or forests and remove debris.

Community Support Through EWP:

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program helps local government sponsors manage watershed impairments or hazards. This program can cover up to 75% of the construction costs for emergency measures, or even 90% in certain limited-resource areas.

For detailed information on these programs or to start the recovery process, South Dakota farmers and producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA or NRCS office promptly.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-jj-gouin

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Categories: South Dakota, Government & Policy

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