Louisiana Rice: Flood Assistance Available for Growers

Photo by Mike Andrews, University of Arkansas Extension Agent, Randolph County

Louisiana rice producers affected by the 2016 floods attended several informational meetings last week hosted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) to learn more about the 2016 Louisiana Farm Recovery Grant Program.  

Awards of up to $100,000 will be offered to producers in the following parishes to help with 2017 replanting expenses:  Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, DeSoto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Point Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. James, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.

“The funding is part of the $1.6 billion congressional appropriation for Restore Louisiana program which was setup to help citizens recover from the flood events,” said USA Rice’s Kane Webb.  “Unfortunately, several rice producing parishes affected by the 2016 floods did not qualify since funds for this program come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and not from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Eligibility is set by HUD which requires the parish to have been declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be eligible.  Being declared a disaster area by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture does not qualify the parish.”

The funds are part of a grant program rather than a combination of a loan and grant that does not have to be paid back.  Rice producers with pre-storm annual gross farm revenue of at least $25,000 in the years 2014, 2015, or 2016 are eligible to apply.  Crop loss must be at least $10,000 as calculated by the LSU AgCenter’s crop loss calculator.

The 36-day application period begins July 26 and runs through August 30.

Applications, supporting information, and the crop loss calculator are available here.

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