Commissioner Steve Troxler: Ag Disaster Signup Extension Anticipated

The deadline to signup for the Hurricane Agriculture Disaster Assistance was officially Midnight last night (Monday, Dec. 10). The N.C. General Assembly continues to consider giving farmers 10 more days to sign up for agricultural disaster assistance from Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael. A total of $240 million has been appropriated for assistance and we have been trying to get the word out to as many farmers as possible. As for now, I encourage farmers to continue to sign up.

  • Disaster assistance remains at the top of the department’s to-do list as we continue to work to get as many farmers signed up as possible.
  • The General Assembly made an important change before approving the bill to include counties with damage from Tropical Storm Michael in the assistance package.
  • With the addition of Michael-related counties, I requested an extension to allow a little more time for farmers in those counties to get signed up. The Senate approved a new Dec. 20 deadline for signups, but the House has not yet passed it. I would not anticipate any more extensions to this program.
  • Sign-up is easy. Farmers in a county with a primary presidential or secretarial disaster declaration are eligible to apply.

 

  • So if you farm in one of these declared counties, I would encourage you to sign up for disaster assistance. If counties pending USDA approval are ultimately included, it would bring the total number of counties covered to 67.
  • We have maps online at ncagr.gov, but it is important to keep in mind that more than half the counties in the state are included in the assistance program, so this affects a lot of farmers.
  • It is also important to remember that if you do not apply, you will not be eligible for the assistance.
  • We don’t want to miss any farmers and have been beating the bushes to get the word out. If you have already signed up, please share this information with your neighbors and friends who farm.
  • We hope to have checks going out by the end of January. I have been told that is an ambitious goal, but I like to set the bar high.
  • We are going to do everything possible to get this money out to farmers as quickly as possible.
  • Remember, you can go online at www.ncagr.gov or contact your local county cooperative extension office for assistance. You can also call the NCDA&CS disaster assistance hotline at 1-866-645-9403.