Resources for Farmers, Ranchers & Rural Land Owners
After the LNU Fire: What to Do on the Land, and What to Avoid – recorded webinar featuring talks on fire impacts on oak woodlands, rangelands, orchards and vineyards, plus restoration and erosion control options, and financial assistance programs for farmers, ranchers and small-acreage landowners.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGDEvVRZyMg
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Disaster Assistance Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has multiple agencies that provide financial and/or technical assistance to help farmers, ranchers and rural landowners recover from natural disasters, such as wildfires. Listed below are important links and listings of USDA agencies that may be of assistance.
USDA Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool
The USDA’s Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool provides an overview of USDA disaster assistance programs that might be available to California farmers and ranchers depending on loss/damage, location, timing and impact.
USDA Disaster Assistance Reference Guide
The USDA Disaster Assistance Reference Guide details the agencies, programs and assistance available to California farmers, ranchers and communities.
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
- Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP): Compensates producers for livestock death due to natural disasters. Compensation is based on roughly 75percent of the national average price of the livestock by type and age. Report losses within 30
- Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP): Compensates producers for a percentage of the pasture or forage loss on private lands due to natural disasters. Payments are subject to a national payment factor. Report losses within 30 days. Complete applications are due by Nov. 1.
- Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP): Compensates producers who suffer pasture or forage loss due to drought or who have federally managed grazing leases but are not allowed to graze the lease because of wildfire. Report losses within 30
- Emergency Loans: Low interest loans to replace farm and ranch buildings and structures, make repairs or replace livestock or feed. Must meet disaster/emergency criteria.
- Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): The Farm Service Agency covers a portion of the cost to replace fence or other conservation practices. This program is contingent on funding available.
- Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP): Provides payments to nonindustrial private forest land owners for emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. This program is contingent on funding
- Tree Assistance Program (TAP): Provides financial assistance to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. Forests are not
- Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP): Provides compensation to producers who grow uninsurable crops and have purchased NAP coverage by the crop signup
Vacaville FSA Service Center
810 Vaca Valley Parkway, Suite 102
Vacaville, CA 95688
Risk Management Agency (RMA)
Risk Management Agency oversees the Federal crop insurance programs. Insureds must have a policy in force with their crop insurance agent to have coverage. This program may protect against the loss of their covered crops or livestock due to natural disasters such as hail, freezes, floods, fire, insects, disease and wildlife, or may cover the loss of revenue due to a decline in price or other factors for applicable programs.
Insureds must call their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of damage discovery to initiate a claim. The crop insurance company will arrange for a loss adjuster to inspect the crop. Do not destroy evidence that is needed to support the claim without clear direction from the insurance company, preferably in writing.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forestland owners affected by wildfires can access technical assistance through NRCS’ conservation programs. Farm Bill financial assistance programs may be available in coming months to assist in implementing needed practices. These include advice on preventing erosion, covering and protecting exposed soil, directing water away from vulnerable areas and more.
- The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) may be able to pay $X/acre on grazing lands if producers agree to defer grazing on damaged land for 2 years. An application period will be announced in the near
- The NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program may be able to provide financial assistance where a fire has created a situation were excessive soil erosion could occur from a rain event creating a threat to life and improved property.
- Eminent threat to life and property.
- Local sponsor is willing and able to represent the local community.
- Must be demonstrated that all local financial resources have been utilized.
Vacaville NRCS Service Center
810 Vaca Valley Parkway, Suite 104
Vacaville, CA 95688
(707) 448-0106 ext. 1
Rural Development (RD)
Rural Development offers a variety of assistance to help California’s rural communities, businesses and families recover and rebuild after disasters, including wildfires.
Complete details on available programs can be found in the Rural Development California Disaster Assistance Resources overview.
- Single Family Housing – Direct low-income Home Ownership Loans, Home Ownership Loan Guarantees, and Direct Home Repair loans and grants. Those whose property was destroyed, was severely damaged, or who have been displaced from a rental unit by the fire may receive priority hardship application processing.
- Multi-Family Housing – If a property was destroyed by the fire, Rural Development can issue a priority letter for next available Multi-Family Housing unit to affected residents. This is available only if a disaster is declared.
- Community Facilities – low interest loans for essential community facilities, such as fire equipment, community centers, city vehicles, food banks, day care facilities, etc.
- Water Environmental Programs – low interest loans for water and waste disposal systems and facilities including buildings, equipment, wells and pipe.
- Business & Cooperative Programs – business loans through intermediaries and guaranteed business loans.
- Electric – low interest loans to rural utilities to finance electric infrastructure. Eligible entities would qualify for expedited loan processing.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension
In addition to the USDA resources listed above, expertise and assistance on particular subjects (e.g. Re-seeding, Erosion & Flooding, Livestock, Salvage Logging and Reforestation) may be available through local or regional University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) Extension offices.