McHenry County Farmers Due for Federal Drought Help

A press release from McHenry County:

McHenry County declared a contiguous disaster county by the USDA

WOODSTOCK, IL – In response to the current drought conditions, the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has reached out to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the United States Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), surrounding counties, and the McHenry County Farm Bureau.

McHenry County received a “contiguous” agriculture disaster declaration this week from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Part of the McHenry County Fair’s Tractor Parade.

The primary effect of this declaration is to address the crop loss by relieving some of the burden of the crop insurance premium.

For farmers who do have insurance, the USDA announced on Wednesday, August 1 that crop insurance companies have agreed to provide a short grace period for farmers on insurance premiums for 2012.

To help producers who may have cash flow problems due to natural disasters, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a letter to crop insurance companies asking them to voluntarily defer the accrual of any interest until November 1, 2012, on unpaid spring crop premiums by producers. To assist the crop insurance companies, USDA will not require crop insurance companies to pay uncollected producer premiums until one month later.

For farmers who do not have insurance, the FSA will provide emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.

Emergency loans may be made to farmers and ranchers who own or operate land located in a county declared by the President as a disaster area or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a disaster area or quarantine area.

For physical losses only, the FSA Administrator may authorize emergency loan assistance.

Emergency loan funds may be used to: restore or replace essential property; pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year; pay essential family living expenses; reorganize the farming operation; and refinance certain debts.

For more information about FSA emergency loans, please contact David Petersen in the FSA Woodstock Services Center at 815-338-0444.

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I called McHenry County EMA Director David Christensen for some clarification and he told me because Boone County has been designated that since we are next door we get designated, too.

Because the declaration is only by the Secretary of Agriculture, rather than by the President, local farmers are not eligible for grants.

With McHenry County Emergency Management Agency Director David Christensen’s having mention snow removal assistance from the Federal government (what is that all about anyway?) and the temperature being in the high 90’s, I thought it was time for a reminder of winter. This was taken on Main Street in Crystal Lake.

He said that happens with snow storm relief, too.

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