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Hurricane Ida Recovery for Farmers and Ranchers

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 29, 2021 — 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina. Ida caused extensive damage in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and severe flooding in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Depending on the infrastructural or economic damage, farmers and ranchers impacted by Ida may be eligible for a variety of disaster recovery programs. The following includes a summary of currently available programs, expected programs to open soon, and general information about disaster recovery for farmers.

**Producers are encouraged to call the RAFI-USA hotline toll-free at 866.586.6746 if they have additional questions or require further assistance.

Current Recovery Assistance Available

  • FEMA has declared that individuals and households in 25 parishes in LA are eligible to apply for financial and direct services. Individuals in select counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York A, NJ, and NY are also eligible.
  • Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (DSNAP) is available for LA households located in a 25 parish area. 
  • The Louisiana Farm Bureau is soliciting donations for a Disaster Relief Fund that will help farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Ida.

Expected Recovery Assistance

If farmers experience some type of damage or loss to their farm operation due to an adverse weather event, they should first contact their local FSA office to notify them of the impact. Notification of damage or loss within 30 to 60 days is required for certain disaster recovery programs. In addition to reporting damage, farmers can apply for a disaster relief program through their FSA office – applications vary between programs. Visit the USDA’s Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool to determine what FSA programs you may be able to apply for. 

Some of the disaster recovery programs include:

  • Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) – helps farmers and ranchers to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters
  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) – provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events, or loss conditions
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) – provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather
  • Emergency Farm Loans (ELP) – loans to help producers who suffer qualifying farm related losses caused by a disaster (not available until a Presidential Declaration, Secretarial Designation, and an Administrator’s Property Loss Notification have been granted)
  • Disaster Set-Aside Program (fact sheet) – allows FSA borrowers in a designated disaster area who are unable to make a schedule payment on FSA debt to set-aside one payment to allow operations to continue

What about damage to crops?

Most federal farm disaster assistance programs require prior participation in RMA crop insurance programs or non-insured crop disaster assistance programs, such as NAP. There are not many options for producers to recover losses on crops post-disaster if they don’t have crop insurance. 

General Disaster Recovery Resources

To learn more about disaster recovery, take a look at our Disaster Recovery Resources for Farmers webpage which includes more information about finding immediate relief, documenting disaster losses, and resources for damage to households. The following are a collection of resources that may be of particular interest for those impacted by Hurricane Ida.

  • Navigating Disaster Assistance for Farmers – a great summary of all the federal programs that may be able to help farmers post-disaster 
  • Documenting Disaster Losses – detailed explanation for how farmers should record damage and recovery efforts in order to receive reimbursement, such as through the Emergency Conservation Program.
  • Disaster Division of Labor – nine minute video explaining the agencies that provide disaster recovery assistance to farmers for different types of damage and losses
  • Documenting Disasters – nine minute video explaining how farmers should document damages and losses caused by natural disasters in order to apply for disaster assistance programs
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