Opinion

Disaster payments pending; make nominations soon

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Now that summer is definitely here, the time has come for completing the payment process for one of the new farm disaster programs established by the last farm bill.

On July 8, 2009 (beginning at 3:30 p.m. I was recently reminded) the Bronson area was hit by a severe hail/wind/rain storm. Crops and other vegetation in the hardest hit areas were pretty well beat to the ground.

Some area producers applied and qualified for some disaster assistance on grazing losses due to the hail under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that over $13 million (nationwide) in disaster assistance will be issued starting July 15 through ELAP to livestock, honeybee and farm-raised fish producers that suffered losses in 2009 because of disease, adverse weather or other conditions. (The Bourbon County portion of this amount adding to almost $10,000.)

More than $13 million in disaster assistance nationwide, including more than $7 million to compensate beekeepers for 2009 losses, will be issued. Under ELAP, producers will be compensated for losses that are not covered under other Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Payment programs established by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

Other disaster assistance programs covered by the 2008 Farm Bill disaster assistance payment program are the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. ELAP benefits related to 2010 losses are expected to be issued in early 2011. For additional background information on ELAP, visit online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elap.

For more information about all USDA Farm Service Agency disaster assistance programs, visit a local FSA county office or http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

ELECTION NOTE: Nominations for a position on the Farm Service Agency County Committee can be filed through close of business on Monday, Aug. 2. The area (district) in Bourbon County hosting this year's election includes the townships of Franklin, Marion, and Walnut.

Any resident of this area who has an interest in a farm or ranch as owner or tenant is an eligible voter, and is eligible for nomination to this position. Those representing under-served groups (women, minorities, or beginning farmers/ranchers) are encouraged to make nominations and to be nominated to this committee. The signature of the nominee is all that is needed on the nomination form to complete a valid addition to this year's ballot.

The nomination form is an FSA-669A and can be picked up at any USDA Service Center, or found online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. In Bourbon County, call (620) 223-1880.

Editor's Note: Doug Niemeir is the County Executive Director for the USDA/Farm Service Agency. He can be reached by emailing him at Douglas.Niemeir@ks.usda.gov.