Freezing temperatures and other excessive weather conditions took their toll on crops in Snohomish County during the 2011 growing season. Now farmers and ranchers may seek relief from the Farm Service Agency. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Snohomish, and Clallam Counties a primary disaster designation triggering eligibility for relief programs for agricultural producers in the county and adjacent counties.
"The Farm Service Agency has assistance available in the form of low-interest emergency loans and payments through the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program," said Melissa Michael County Executive Director in Snohomish County. "These programs are part of the federal safety net for agriculture. Part of ensuring our nation's food supply is making sure farmers and ranchers can recover from devastating weather conditions."
The SURE program provides a direct payment that helps cover revenue losses when a natural disaster impacts crop quality or production. Producers need to have already purchased crop insurance or Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for all of their economically significant crops to be eligible for SURE payments. The agency will make SURE payments based on a formula that takes into account the difference between guaranteed revenue and the actual revenue made for a farm. Producers will need to show documentation of losses or prevented plantings.
The SURE program payments are in addition to crop insurance, which producers must have to be eligible for the program explained Michael. SURE program applications for 2011 crop losses will be accepted in 2012. That's when the 2011 farm revenue data which is used to determine payments becomes available.