Flood loss msg from Steve Justice

The VT Agency of Agriculture sent this news release out yesterday:

Vermont Agriculture Secretary Encourages Farmers to Report Losses Sustained
from Flooding and Soaking Rains This Spring

Montpelier, VT – Many farmers across the state have experienced some damage and loss after the storms and flooding experienced in April, May and June of 2011. The Agency of Agriculture is urging farmers to report losses sustained due to these weather incidents as soon as possible. This will assist the state in exploring various areas of possible assistance from the federal government.

Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross is urging farmers to assist in these efforts by contacting state and federal agencies about any damage or losses they have or will incur, so that the scope of the problem and the impacts can be documented accurately.

“This has been a very difficult spring for Vermont farmers because of record rains and damaging flooding. We know damage has occurred to buildings and fields, hay harvesting has been delayed with resulting losses in quality and critical planting dates are about to be passed,” said Ross. “We need to hear from farmers in order to evaluate and determine what kind of help might be available and where it is needed.”

Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) is requesting that farmers of all types report damage to any of their property in the following manner so that impact information can be included in their justification for emergency declarations.

• If there is damage to any part of your property or business, including but not limited to barns, milking parlors, crops, fields, equipment, etc., this information should be reported to your county USDA Farm Service Agency or your county Natural Resources Conservation Services office; you can also contact organizations to which you belong such as the Vermont Farm Bureau at 802-434-5646 or NOFA Vermont 802-434-4122. These organizations should send a summary of the information compiled to the Agency of Agriculture which will then forward to VEM.

• If there is damage to your house(s) or other dwelling in which you live, that report should be made by calling 211 and completing a damage assessment report with the operator. The operator will then forward this information to VEM.

If you are in need of physical assistance or provisions, you should contact your local community emergency responders. Local responders will assess the situation and direct you to necessary resources.

Following a declaration of disaster, USDA makes available low interest loans and can help consolidate existing loans. A Supplemental Revenue Program may also be initiated after a declaration of disaster. This would provide payments to farmers depending on the loss of feed based on quality and quantity of feed, after harvest has occurred.

Currently available is assistance from USDA through the Emergency Conservation Program to remove debris from farm fields and repair damage to fields so that they can be planted and harvested.
Farmers are encouraged to keep in touch with USDA Farm Service Agency at 802-658-2803 and Natural Resources Conservation Service at 802-951-6796.

Best regards,

Steve Justis, Executive Director
Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association, Inc.
1765 Center Rd.
Montpelier, VT 05602-8544

Telephone: (802) 223-6502
Mobile: (802) 461-6015
E-mail: steve.justis@gmail.com


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