Fruit farmers offered federal aid for 2012
Local fruit farmers still struggling to recover after the early freezes in 2012 may be eligible for federal relief thanks to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Allegan County is one of more than 700 counties nationwide eligible for the program.
Michigan State University Extension’s Mark Longstroth said, “If those crops were not insured, growers have an opportunity to file to get relief.”
He said the 2012 season began early, with two weeks of summer-like weather in March causing the fruit to bud. April followed with normal temperatures, including some freezes leading to approximately 5-percent of a normal crop.
The program’s enrollment period is currently underway and will continue through Sept. 22.
“This was an unprecedented disaster,” Longstroth said. “Not everyone has crop insurance and this is a way to get them paid back.”
To apply, individuals must contact the Allegan County Farm Service Agency.
The agency’s David Mroczek said the program is aimed at bush and tree crops including blueberries, apples and peaches.
“If someone took a loss on an eligible crop, we will certainly help walk them through how to apply,” he said.
Mroczek part of the application includes having their production evidence organized a specific way.
For more information on relief qualifications and requirements visit www.fsa.usda.gov and select FSA Fact Sheets from the “Popular Items” list on the right hand side of the page. From there, select “2012 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Coverage for Frost, Freeze, or Weather Related Fruit Losses.”
The necessary paperwork is available at the county’s Farm Service Agency. To contact the agency, call (269) 673-6940.
Contact Kayla Deneau at email@example.com or at (269) 673-5534 or (269) 685-9571.