Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Dr. Bradley Lubben, Extension Assistant Professor, Policy Specialist, and Director, North Central Risk Management Education Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

August 8, 2012

Over the past 20 to 30 years, agricultural disaster assistance has been an almost annual discussion in the United States Congress. In some years, substantial ad hoc emergency assistance has been developed to support farm incomes in periods of low prices and production losses. Disaster assistance to producers averaged nearly $7 billion annually over the 1998-2001 period and led to calls to rewrite the 1996 Farm Bill a year early, resulting in the 2002 Farm Bill that substantially increased the farm income safety net by adding the counter-cyclical payment. At other times, agricultural disaster losses did not garner immediate assistance from Congress and waited for the next disaster before aid arrived. Disaster legislation passed in 2004 covered losses from either 2003 or 2004. Legislation passed in 2007 covered losses from 2005, 2006 or 2007. Full article available at Cornhusker Economics (PDF file).

Financial and Technical Assistance Available Through the Drought Relief Special Initiative

Nebraska farmers and ranchers affected by this year's drought may apply for assistance through the new USDA NRCS Drought Relief Special Initiative, announced Craig Derickson, State Conservationist of USDA NRCS in Nebraska. Applications can be made August 6-15.

Derickson said, “The prolonged lack of rainfall combined with excessive heat has resulted in a dramatic reduction in available forage for livestock producers and increased the risk of soil erosion on land without sufficient ground cover. The purpose of this initiative is to offer assistance to farmers and ranchers impacted by the drought.” Read full story on Cropwatch.unl.edu.