USDA To Begin DelBene’s Heat-Related Crop Loss Relief Program
Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement that it will soon begin providing $6 billion in relief for farmers and ranchers impacted by 2020 and 2021 natural disasters, including heat-related losses:
“Last year’s historic heatwaves had sweeping impacts for farmers and ranchers across Washington state, from scorching berries on the canes to cooking shellfish alive in the water. The program USDA is rolling out today includes heat-related losses for the first time in history and will provide critical relief to agriculture producers who otherwise would have no way to recuperate their losses.”
DelBene secured the heat-related provision in the September 2021 federal funding legislation.
The $6 billion represents Phase One of the $10 billion Emergency Relief Program. Most producers can receive up to $900,000 for specialty crops and $250,000 for other crop losses, representing between 75% and 95% of a farmer’s 2020 and 2021 losses. To expedite benefits, USDA will send pre-filled application forms where it has sufficient data. Phase Two will be available for producers where there isn’t enough data currently available.
USDA’s announcement can be found here. A fact sheet on the program can be found here.