LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Producers who lost grain storage facilities in a number of weather disasters from Dec. 1, 2021, to Aug. 1, 2022, will have a chance to access tens of millions of dollars in cost-share assistance from USDA, in a program announced by the agency on Thursday.
USDA announced an initial allocation of $20 million in cost-share for producers affected by disasters in Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee.
The newly launched Emergency Grain Storage Facility Assistance Program would provide funds to farmers to assist in the construction of new grain storage capacity and drying.
The application period for the program starts later this month, according to USDA, and will close on Dec. 29, 2023.
"Weather events in 2021 and 2022 in several states caused catastrophic losses to grain storage facilities on family farms as well as a large, commercial grain elevator, leaving stored grain exposed to the elements and affecting storage and commodity marketing options for many producers," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a news release.
"USDA heard from congressional leaders, including Minority Leader (Sen. Mitch) McConnell, who identified a gap in our disaster assistance toolkit and used our Commodity Credit Corporation authority to act more quickly than waiting for specific legislation."
The program is aimed at producers who suffered grain storage damage in 11 counties in the nine states.
USDA provided maps showing the location of damaged grain facilities in Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota and surrounding eligible areas: https://dtn.box.com/….
The maps depict damaged storage facility locations and the affected counties within a 30-mile radius of the storage facilities, where producers may be eligible to apply for the cost-share dollars.
USDA said the Farm Service Agency also "may determine a need" for assistance in counties in other states and regions.
Eligible disaster events include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, derechos, straight-line winds and winter storms that occurred between Dec. 1, 2021, and Aug. 1, 2022, according to USDA.
New and used facilities and upgrades are eligible for cost-share assistance but must have a useful life of at least three years.
The types of eligible facilities include conventional-type cribs or bins designed and engineered for grain storage; open buildings with two end walls; converted storage structures; asphalt, concrete or gravel floors with grain piles and tarp covering; and ag baggers including bags.
USDA said on-farm grain storage structures may account for aeration, drainage and may require loading or unloading augers, drying and handling equipment.
Producers are required to submit the program application, form FSA-413, and any additional required forms to their FSA county office either in person, by mail, email, or facsimile starting later this month and by Dec. 29, 2023. USDA said form FSA-413-1, continuation sheet for EGSFP, must be submitted with the FSA-413 when a group of producers are applying for assistance.
FSA will use the producer's self-certified cost of the additional on-farm grain storage capacity or drying and handling equipment needed multiplied by the producer's share of grain, USDA said.
"This amount will then be multiplied by the cost-share factor of 75% or 90%," USDA said in the news release.
"An eligible producer who certifies they are socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning and veteran farmer or rancher by filing form CCC-860 with FSA will receive the higher 90% cost-share rate."
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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