Commissioner Steve Troxler: Application Period for Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program Opens Wednesday

Starting Wednesday, Nov. 7, farmers affected by Hurricane Florence will be able to sign up for the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018. The program will directly assist farmers who suffered losses to commodities planted but not harvested before Sept. 13 and livestock. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will administer the program.

  • This Wednesday, Nov. 7, we are rolling out the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018, a one-time assistance program for agricultural producers who suffered a loss due to Hurricane Florence.
  • The program was established in October by the N.C. General Assembly with Session Law 2018-136.
  • We’ve talked about this a lot, Mike. Hurricane Florence was a catastrophe and hit agriculture at a time when historically high debt, previous disasters and chronic low commodity prices had already created a dim outlook for farmers.
  • I am concerned that some of our farmers will choose not to return to the fields next year and we are going to do all that we can to encourage them to do so.
  • If funded, this program will provide much needed cash flow to maintain agriculture and its multiplier effect for rural economies.
  • To be eligible you must live in a Presidential Disaster Declaration County due to Hurricane Florence. The size and scope of the devastation from Florence means that more than half the counties in the state fall in this category.
  • Commodities are eligible if the commodity was planted but not harvested, on or before Sept. 13, 2018 in one of the eligible counties.
  • Nursery crops, fruit-bearing trees and bushes, and specialty crops may extend their deadline to May 1, 2019 upon written request in the application. The extension is granted because the survival level of these crops is not immediately known and may not be until next spring.
  • Livestock and poultry producers who qualify for and have received payment form the USDA Livestock Indemnity Program are also eligible for assistance through this program.
  • The sign-up period will begin Wednesday, Nov. 7, and run until Dec. 10. Contact your local extension office for application assistance or contact the NCDA&CS Agriculture Disaster Assistance Hotline Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1-866-645-9403.
  • An electronic application is also available from a link on our website ncagr.gov.