March 15, 2006


 USDA distributing $1.2 billion in hurricane aid to producers - March 15, 2006

posted March 1, 2006

The Department of Agriculture is providing $1.2 billion in aid for ranchers and farmers who fell victim to the 2005 hurricane season.

The USDA will distribute $250 million in disaster assistance to agricultural producers in the categories of livestock, aquaculture, feed, crops, and trees.

The USDA Farm Service Agency's Livestock Indemnity Program will provide payments to producers whose livestock died as a direct result of the hurricanes. The FSA will base payment on 75 percent of the mean sales price for each type of livestock.

The Department of Agriculture will provide block grants to states that suffered aquaculture losses during the hurricanes. Additional FSA indemnity programs will provide payments for losses of feed, crops, and trees.

The USDA is also distributing more than $900 million to agricultural producers through conservation and watershed programs.

The Emergency Conservation Program includes payments to producers for rehabilitating oyster reefs, refurbishing oyster beds, cleaning up structures such as barns and poultry houses, providing water to livestock, and removing carcasses and other debris from poultry houses.

The Emergency Watershed Protection Program provides financial and technical assistance for removal and disposal of debris and animal carcasses that could adversely affect health and safety.