The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has authorized policy exceptions for three key disaster assistance programs to aid Florida agricultural operations that were significantly impacted by Hurricane Ian in 2022. These programs include the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
ELAP provides assistance to owners of livestock, and producers of honeybees and farm-raised fish for feed and death losses due to an eligible natural disaster event. For ELAP, FSA will still accept late-file acreage certifications for honeybees and aquaculture for 2022 with no fee and no field inspection required.
Aquaculture and honeybee producers will need to provide the local FSA county committee with evidence that the fish, bees or hives existed prior to the qualifying natural disaster event, including proof of feed purchase, purchase of stock, etc.
The notice of loss filing date for LIP has been extended through March 30, 2023, and the deadline for applications for payment extended through May 1, 2023. LIP provides benefits to livestock owners and contract growers who experience livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by specific adverse weather, disease or animal attacks.
TAP provides financial cost-share assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or, where applicable, rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters.
For Florida citrus producers, the deadline to file a Notice of Loss with FSA has been extended from 60 calendar days up to an additional two-years on the timeframe to complete practices for citrus losses. A request for a practice extension must be made in writing (can be submitted via email) before practice completion date.
On armers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet (PDF, 1.4 MB) and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help producers and landowners determine program or loan options. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent. For FSA and NRCS programs, they should contact their local USDA Service Center.