US – Iowa receives $10.8 million in federal ag-disaster help
Iowa will receive $10.8 million in ag disaster funds to help farmers recover from flooding along the Missouri River. The funds were part of $308 million in aid USDA announced Jan. 18. About 200,000 acres of Iowa farmland were affected by last summer’s Missouri River flooding. Officials say the aid will help remove debris and sand left behind when the floodwaters receded.
Iowa will receive $10.8 million in ag disaster funds to help farmers recover from flooding along the Missouri River.The funds were part of $308 million in aid USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Jan. 18.
About 200,000 acres of Iowa farmland were affected by last summer’s Missouri River flooding. Officials say the aid will help remove debris and sand left behind when the floodwaters receded.Rich Sims, state conservationist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Des Moines, says one farmer spent $100,000 for a bulldozer to remove sand from 100 acres of land. He says the funds might not seem like much, but it’s only one part of a funding stream available to producers, and every little bit helps.The $308 million total for the nation will be divvied among 32 states and Puerto Rico.Missouri and Utah will receive the most aid, together taking in $109 million, or more than one-third of the $308 million from USDA watershed and conservation emergency funds, Vilsack told The Associated Press.Missouri suffered months of flooding along the Missouri River after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized unprecedented releases from reservoirs in the northern river basin all summer to deal with unexpectedly heavy rain in May and above-average mountain snowpack. Farmers in the Missouri Bootheel, meanwhile, saw their crops swamped when the Corps exploded a levee to relieve water pressure on an upriver town in Illinois.The intentional breach sent water cascading over thousands of acres of prime farmland.Missouri will receive approximately $50 million, of which $35 million will come from the watershed program and the rest from the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program.Flooding last spring in Utah inundated thousands of acres of farmland, costing farmers tens of millions of dollars lost to damaged and destroyed crops or delayed planting.Utah will receive $60.2 million in watershed money for repair work and preventative measures in 13 cities and counties hit by floods within the last 13 months, said Bronson Smart, state conservation engineer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.He said his agency requested that amount to deal with two rounds of flooding, including flash flooding in southern Utah in December 2010 and flooding last spring in northern and central Utah caused by a record snowpack.Vilsack said disaster funds will be used for financial and technical assistance to help rebuild and repair land damaged by flooding, drought, tornadoes and other natural disasters.“There have been years that have had more-intensive damage in a particular geographic area, but what’s unique about last year is that virtually every part of the country was affected,” Vilsack told the AP. “It was different in every part of the country. We’ve not seen tornadoes as devastating as last spring.“Flooding on the Missouri River, because of the longstanding nature of the flooding — not a two- or three-week situation — was unique. Fires in the southwest part of the country were historic in magnitude. It’s been a tough year.”Slightly more than $215 million of the aid comes from the Emergency Watershed Program, about $80 million will come from the Emergency Conservation Program and nearly $12 million is from the FSA’s Emergency Forest Restoration Program.Texas, for instance, will receive nearly $6 million after wildfires charred the southern part of the state.The watershed funds will go toward public safety and restoration efforts on private, public and tribal land, Vilsack said.Projects funded by that money will include removing debris from waterways, protecting eroded stream banks, reseeding damaged areas and, in some cases, purchasing floodplain easements on eligible land.New York trails only Utah in the amount of watershed protection money received, at $37.8 million. In addition to flooding, 2011 was a big year for tornadoes, including a monster storm that leveled a large portion of Joplin and record outbreaks in the South.Alabama is scheduled to get nearly $7 million in assistance for tornado recovery, followed by nearly $4 million in Georgia.Missouri, at the other end of the spectrum, is to receive only $130,000 to fix damage to agricultural land by tornadoes.In addition to keeping U.S. agriculture profitable and helping communities rebuild, the disaster money also will spark job growth, Vilsack said.“The beauty of this resource is that it generates job opportunities, to hire contractors and buy supplies at local hardware stores,” he said.“Folks are in the process of planning what they’re going to be doing this spring. We’re hoping by this announcement they will be able to plan more effectively.”The conservation program funds will go to producers to help remove debris from farmland, restore livestock fences and conservation structures, provide water for livestock during periods of extreme drought, and grade and shape farmland damaged by natural disasters, he said. The forest money will help eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest land take emergency measures to restore areas damaged by disasters.Vilsack said the emergency money is being used to help ag interests beyond what is covered by crop insurance. He said the USDA paid out $8.6 billion in crop insurance payments in 2011 and $17.2 billion in the past three years.State-by-state breakdown of assistance(AP) — Here is a state-by-state breakdown of disaster assistance, according to figures provided by the USDA. Alabama: $16,555,901 Alaska: $8,262,000 Arizona: $5,213,700 Arkansas: $8,018,280 Georgia: $4,411,850 Indiana: $195,827 Iowa: $10,820,000 Kansas: $2,200,000 Kentucky: $1,710,600 Maine: $810,000 Maryland: $231,000 Massachusetts: $6,470,000 Minnesota: $419,400 Mississippi: $5,465,098 Missouri: $50,073,773 Montana: $1,060,000 Nebraska: $10,869,950 New Hampshire: $443,000 New Jersey: $2,540,000 New York: $41,794,484 North Carolina: $4,631,000 Ohio: $3,139,400 Oklahoma: $5,266,795 Pennsylvania: $13,875,000 Puerto Rico: $2,265,000 Rhode Island: $6,453,300 South Dakota: $400,000 Tennessee: $10,106,601 Texas: $12,921,217 Utah: $60,268,801 Virginia: $1,240,000 Vermont: $8,714,250 Wyoming: $931,000
Source – http://www.iowafarmertoday.com/