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

Uganda kobs edge stubborn South Sudan in under-23 qualifier

first_imgJohnstone Omurwa and James Mazabe were the early scorers and Pistone Mutamba netted after 35 minutes for a 3-0 half-time advantage.Sydney Lokole and Joseph Okumu netted in the second half for Kenya, who travel to Belle Vue in the Indian Ocean island state for the return match this Sunday.Ethiopia scored twice in each half to build a 4-0 first leg lead in Addis Ababa over Somalia, a violence-wracked east African nation making a rare international appearance.Canaan Markneh and Israel Eshetu netted for the hosts during the opening half and Awot Gebremikael and Abubakher Sanni scored within three minutes midway through the second half.Sanni was later red-carded and will miss the return match in Horn of Africa state Djibouti next Tuesday.Burundi got on top after half-time to defeat Tanzania 2-0 in Bujumbura through goals by Muryango Mabano, from a penalty, and Laudit Mavugo.Other qualifiers in east Africa were drawn with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo failing to score in Rubavu and a clash between Seychelles and Sudan in Victoria ending 1-1.Daouda Camara scored in the final minute of regular time to snatch a 2-1 victory for Guinea over Mauritania in Nouakchott.The Mauritanians made an encouraging start with Hassem Teguedi netting on 10 minutes only for Mai Traore to equalise with 72 minutes gone in northwestern Africa.Olympic Games football qualifiers are restricted to under-23 footballers with each country permitted three over-age ‘wildcards’ at the finals.Nigeria (1996) and Cameroon (2000) are the two African countries who won the quadrennial tournament.Share on: WhatsApp ******Kenya, Ethiopia scoring sprees in Olympics footballKenya and Ethiopia went on scoring sprees Wednesday in the other African football qualifying competition matches, reports AFP.The Kenyans were two goals ahead of Mauritius within 13 minutes in Nairobi and finished 5-0 winners of a one-sided first round first leg match. A Ugandan player dribbles in Wednesday’s match. ALL PHOTOS FUFA MEDIAUganda ?? 1  South Sudan ??  0Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A late penalty converted by Mustafa Kizza was enough to give Uganda Kobs a slim 1-0 win over South Sudan Wednesday in a 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match, that is qualifier for the Japan 2020 Olympics.The visiting South Sudan side who traveled over 600km by bus from Juba defended in numbers early in the half to give Kobs no chance at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo.Attacking midfielder Allan Okello and Julius Poloto kept the South Sudan team busy, but the visitors defended in numbers to give the home side no chance in the early half.On return Uganda Kobs piled lots of pressure with Okello trying to shot from outside the box, but the defenders were up to the task. The South Sudan team also had Makueth Wol Akeen Nhuet test the Ugandan goalkeeper twice.But with one added minute striker Stephen Dese Mukwala run in the box before Pal Paul Pukin brought him down. The Egyptian referee cautioned Pukin and awarded a penalty which Kizza converted.“We should have scored many goals but my players failed to unlock the South Sudan defending line. We need to work harder in the return leg on November 20th,” Uganda Kobs coach Wasswa Bbosa said after the game.The winner between the Uganda Kobs and South Sudan will take on Tunisia in the second round of qualification in March next year before the final qualification round in June.Egypt will host the 2019 U-23 AFCON which will be the 3rd edition. The tournament will determine which three African teams will compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics men’s football tournament in Japan.last_img read more

Southampton shatter Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten

first_imgHasenhuttl watched Southampton lose 1-0 at Cardiff in his first match and, in a PR stunt this week, he sent free drinks vouchers to Saints season ticket holders.The Austrian, who left his role as Leipzig boss in May, was the toast of St Mary’s after Southampton won at home in the league for the first time since April to climb out of the relegation zone on goal difference above Burnley. Laurent Koscielny was making his first Premier League start since April after recovering from an Achilles injury, but Arsenal’s French centre-back looked rusty when Southampton took a surprise lead in the 20th minute.Matt Targett whipped over a superb cross and Koscielny was caught by Ings’ perfectly-timed run, completely missing his attempted clearance as the on-loan Liverpool striker powered his header past Leno.Ings’ sixth goal of the season reflected well on Hasenhuttl, who had recalled him in place of Austin on his return from a hamstring injury.It took Arsenal just eight minutes to equalise with a flowing move that saw Alex Iwobi pick out Nacho Monreal’s run before the Spaniard chipped a cross for the unmarked Mkhitaryan to head home.Ings’ movement was causing Arsenal problems and he struck again to restore Southampton’s lead in the 44th minute.Nathan Redmond’s cross unhinged Emery’s creaky back-three and this time Ings got in between Koscielny and Stephan Lichtsteiner to loop a fine header over the stranded Leno.Ings hadn’t scored with a header in the league for three years, but now he had two in just one half.For the 17th time this season, Arsenal had failed to secure half-time lead in the league and Emery responded by sending on Alexandre Lacazette.The Gunners have been far more dangerous after the interval this season and once again they hit back to equalise in the 53rd minute.Allowed too much space on the edge of the area, Mkhitaryan collected Lacazette’s pass and drilled a low strike that took a crucial deflection off Jannik Vestergaard as it flashed past the wrong-footed McCarthy.Southampton thought they had taken the lead in the closing stages when Long stabbed in after Maya Yoshida’s header was clawed out by Leno, but the goal was ruled out for offside.Hasenhuttl cursed in frustration on the touchline, but the Austrian was celebrating soon after as Southampton punished Leno’s blunder to snatch the points in the 85th minute.Long’s cross floated across the penalty area, tempting Leno off his line, but the German missed with his attempt to punch clear and Austin was on hand to head into the empty net.Share on: WhatsApp Austin punishes Leno blunder as Saints stun ArsenalSouthampton, United Kingdom | AFP |  Charlie Austin shattered Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run as the Southampton striker punished a howler from Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno to seal a shock 3-2 win on Sunday.Austin settled a thrilling Premier League clash at St Mary’s when he headed home with just five minutes left after Leno misjudged Shane Long’s cross.Southampton had twice taken the lead through Danny Ings, only for Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s brace to draw Arsenal level on each occasion.Leno’s mistake and Austin’s predatory finish handed Arsenal their first defeat in 15 league games and brought a stunning halt to their longest unbeaten run in all competitions since 2007.Unai Emery’s fifth placed team hadn’t lost since a 3-2 defeat at Chelsea in August and the north Londoners’ first setback since the summer leaves them two points behind the fourth placed Blues, who won at Brighton on Sunday.While it was a bitter afternoon for Arsenal, Southampton’s first win in 15 matches in all competitions was cause for much celebration.Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, taking charge of his first home game, danced a jubilant jig on the pitch at full-time after securing the maiden victory of his reign.last_img read more