USDA assists farmers, ranchers after deadly tornado

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USDA announced assistance is available for farmers and ranchers affected by the severe weather and tornado that tore through Mississippi on March 25.

Friday’s EF4 storm hit the rural community of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, a small delta town surrounded by cotton farms. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has been on the ground since and is also offering help.

USDA provides tools for producers to manage their risk through the Federal Crop Insurance Program. For crops that do not have crop insurance available, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) is available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). This includes crop production loss and tree loss for certain crop insurance products. Producers should reach out to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office for more information.

Producers who suffer losses and are signed up for Federal Crop Insurance or NAP are asked to report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office within 72 hours of discovering damage and follow up in writing within 15 days.

It is also critical that producers keep accurate records to document damage or loss and to report losses to their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible.

The Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet and Loan Assistance Tool can help producers and landowners determine program or loan options. Producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent for assistance with a crop insurance claim agent. For FSA and NRCS programs, they should contact their local USDA Service Center.

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