DUP-Farms flooded by Irene and Lee eligible for relief

RICHMOND—The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today that federal crop insurance will be available to farmers whose crops were damaged by severe flooding from tropical storms Irene and Lee.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are working closely together to ensure that farmers with flood-damaged crops that cannot be marketed are compensated for their losses.

FDA considers ready-to-eat crops whose edible portion has been in contact with flood waters to be destroyed due to potential exposure to sewage, animal waste, heavy metals, pathogenic microorganisms or other contaminants. Therefore, these crops should not enter the human or animal food supplies. Crops insured by federal crop insurance or by the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program are covered when floodwaters have rendered them valueless.

USDA encourages all farmers and ranchers to contact their crop insurance companies and local USDA Farm Service Agency service centers to report damages to crops or livestock loss.

"In addition to crop insurance, farmers can receive assistance through the Emergency Conservation Program available through FSA," said Spencer Neale, a commodity marketing expert for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. "The program provides assistance in repairing fences, breeches in dams and ponds, and any damage to fields and pastures as a result of severe weather."

More information about federal crop insurance may be found at www.rma.usda.gov and information on the Emergency Conservation Program can be found at disaster.fsa.usda.gov. Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding may be found at usda.gov/disaster.

Contact Neale at 804-290-1153.

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