Commissioner Steve Troxler: Hurricane Florence Agriculture Disaster Assistance Deadline extended until Dec. 20

The N.C. General Assembly has given farmers until Dec. 20 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. Last week we received word that 11 more counties had received the secretarial disaster declaration.

  • I know we have talked a lot about the state disaster assistance program, but we are in the final week of sign-ups and we are trying to reach as many farmers as possible. To date, we have around 7,000 sign up.
  • 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. Legislators approved a new Dec. 20 deadline for signups, but I would not anticipate any more extensions to this program.

 

  • Last week, we also received word that 11 counties that were in a pending status had received a secretarial disaster declaration.

 

  • So farmers who farm in Anson, Avery, Dare, Person, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Watauga and Yadkin county are eligible for the state assistance program.

 

  • We are still waiting to hear about six counties: Davie, Franklin, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes and Surry.

 

  • We are hopeful these counties are also declared, but would advise farmers in these counties to go ahead and sign up by Dec. 20.
  • Sign-up is easy. Farmers in a county with a primary presidential or secretarial disaster declaration are eligible to apply.
  • 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 by Dec. 20, 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, Dec. 20 is the new deadline. 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.