USDA announces $34 million relief effort for 2017 disaster victims

first_imgIn total, it is estimated that the Act will enable USDA to provide more than $3 billion in disaster assistance, including the $2.36 billion announced last week to be made available through FSA’s new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program. This includes $400 million made available for the Emergency Conservation Program, which helps farmers and ranchers repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters. As signups across the country are completed, additional applications will be funded. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events in 2017 including: three tropical cyclones, eight severe storms, two inland floods, a crop freeze, drought and wildfire. More than 25 million people – almost eight percent of the population – were affected by major disasters. From severe flooding in Puerto Rico and Texas to mudslides and wildfires in California, major natural disasters caused catastrophic damages, with an economic impact totaling more than $300 billion. Washington D.C.— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue $34 million to help agricultural producers recover from 2017 natural disasters through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), which covers losses not covered by certain other USDA disaster assistance programs. These payments are being made available today, and they are part of a broader USDA effort to help producers recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires and drought. A large portion of this assistance will be made available in federally designated disaster areas.“From Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, through the South, the Southwest, California and the Great Plains, American agriculture was devastated by natural disasters in 2017,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “The Trump Administration is moving quickly to distribute financial assistance to help producers recover and rebuild.  It is important to get this help to producers in time for the spring planting season.”ELAP aims to help eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary.  ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by other disaster assistance programs such as the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).The increased amount of assistance through ELAP was made possible by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed earlier this year. The Act amended the 2014 Farm Bill to enable USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide assistance to producers without an annual funding cap and immediately for 2017. It also enables FSA to pay ELAP applications as they are filed for 2018 and subsequent program years.Other USDA Disaster Assistance ProgramsThe Act removed program year payment limitations and increased the acreage cap for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), a nationwide program that provides owners of orchards, vineyards and nurseries with cost share assistance to replant eligible trees, bushes, and vines following a natural disaster. For example, the program will help owners of citrus groves in Florida, avocado trees in California, coffee plantations in Puerto Rico and vineyards reduce the cost of replanting, and speed recovery from the loss of fruit and nut trees, bushes, and vines.Prior to the Act, there was a combined program year payment limitation of $125,000 for ELAP, LIP and LFP per person or legal entity.  The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) had its own $125,000 payment limitation.  The Act removed the program year per person and legal entity payment limitation for LIP and TAP.  As a result of the Act, a $125,000 per person and legal entity single payment limitation applies to the total amount of program year payments received under both ELAP and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and program payments under LIP and TAP no longer have payment limits. Under the updated program, as amended by the Act, growers are eligible to be partly reimbursed for losses on up to 1,000 acres per program year, double the previous acreage limit of 500 acres. For AssistanceProducers with operations impacted by natural disasters and diseases in 2018 are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center to apply for assistance through ELAP, TAP, LIP and LFP. Producers with 2017 ELAP claims need to take no action as FSA will begin paying those claims today.last_img read more

Dripps outruns Smith at BVR

first_imgBy Steve ZwemkeALTA, Iowa (June 24) – Corey Dripps returned to Buena Vista Raceway Wednesday night and en­joyed a much more successful outing.  Dripps showed up incognito with a small, enclosed trailer as opposed to the super-sized tow rig that adorned the infield a week earlier.He started on the front row and led all 15 laps of the Mark Hansen’s Rex Chevrolet IMCA Modi­fied feature although Dustin Smith gave him a good run for his money.  Smith trailed by not more than a couple of car lengths for most of the race as he and Dripps checked out on the rest of the field.All three of the Stock Car racing Smiths led portions of the 15-lap North Central Line Service IMCA Stock Car main event. Donavon Smith led the first four laps until Devin Smith drove past.  Devin led through lap nine before giving way to David Smith who came from the back row. The win was the third for David Smith, who continues to lead the point standings.The Pizza Ranch of Storm Lake IMCA Northern SportMod feature also had a couple lead changes. John Briggs led the first two laps but faded after Shane Hammen got by. Hammen led through the fourth lap when Tim Rupp got by.  Rupp then had to stand on the gas as Doug Smith closed in over the final laps.  Smith was racing in a ride borrowed from Sioux City driver Kaleb Kennedy.  The win was Rupp’s second.Brandon Nielsen took over the lead on the fifth lap of the Rasmussen Ford IMCA Hobby Stock feature en route to his second win. Merle Bass led the first four laps. Nielsen survived a green, white, checkered finish challenge from Cody Nielsen.The amazing points battle between Cody Nielsen and Justin Nehring continues as Nielsen has a one-point lead. They have remained within a point or tied for five consecutive weeks.Tyler Thompson had a brief battle through the first two turns of the KCHE Radio IMCA Sport Com­pact feature before grabbing the lead and running with it for all 10 laps.  Thompson’s win was his second.last_img read more

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Etoile du Sahel, Enyimba Clash Tickets Sold out

first_imgWednesday’s CAF Champions League clash between Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel and Enyimba has already been sold out.The Tunisian Interior Ministry approved for 20,000 tickets to be sold for the match at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse and already officials said the tickets have been snapped up.The clash between Etoile du Sahel and Enyimba in the second round return leg match this evening is scheduled for 6pm Nigerian time. Moroccan officials will be in charge of Wednesday’s match.Enyimba won the first leg in Port Harcourt 3-0 courtesy of a hat-trick by Mfon Udoh.The seven-time Nigeria champions who have been training under floodlights at the Agege Stadium in Lagos ahead of this fixture scheduled to fly out to Tunisia via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.They plan to train under floodlights in Sousse Tuesday night.The overall winners of this tie will march on to the group stage of the Champions League, while the losers drop down to the second-tier Confederation Cup.Meanwhile, Mfon Udoh has signed a new deal that keeps him at Enyimba till February 2019.“Mfon (Udoh) has signed a new deal with Enyimba till 2019 after his previous deal ended in February,” a top source told only AfricanFootball.com yesterday.“All the documentations have been filed with the league.”Enyimba is now expected to cash in big time should the striker move overseas before the expiration of this new contract.The 24-year-old Udoh, who smashed a hat-trick against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in a crunch CAF Champions League second round clash last week, is the all-time top scorer in the Nigeria league with 23 goals.The former Akwa United star achieved this milestone two seasons ago.He was subsequently sought after by several top African clubs including club Africain and Esperance (Tunisia) and Egypt’s Zamalek.Last season, he came off the boil due to fitness problems, but he has been firing again in the current campaign highlighted by his treble against Etoile last Sunday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more