U.S. Ag secretary Tom Vilsack said in a recent news release that a 12 week progress report has the USA has processing 106, 000 claim payments to farmers in 40 states who suffered livestock and grazing loses between October 2011 and 2014.
Vilsack said that his staff hired part time employees to assist in expediting the application process, and so far have processed over $1.2 billion dollars in payments to qualifying farmers and ranchers. USDA officials estimate that roughly 2.5 billion dollars would be provided in disaster relief meaning over half the disaster payments have already been provided.
Disaster relief is a critical lifeline that can prevent farmers and ranchers who do not have access to crop insurance from being wiped out by weather related losses beyond their control, most producers only receive support equal to about 60 percent of their actual losses.
Local producers affected by the drought should contact the local FSA county office to make an appointment and learn if they are eligible for this assistance.