September 10, 2019 12:06 PM
A group of elected officials serving Georgia announced today that agricultural producers can apply for assistance for Hurrican Michael and other natural disasters that occurred in 2018 or 2019. This comes eleven months after Hurricane Michael devastated parts of south/southwest Georgia.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), Governor Brian Kemp, and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black today announced that agricultural producers affected by Hurricane Michael, or other natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, can apply for assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). Signup for this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will begin on September 11, 2019.
“U.S. agriculture has been dealt a hefty blow by extreme weather over the last several years, and 2019 is no exception,” said Secretary Perdue. “The scope of this year’s prevented planting alone is devastating, and although these disaster program benefits will not make producers whole, we hope the assistance will ease some of the financial strain farmers, ranchers and their families are experiencing. President Trump has the backs of our farmers, and we are working to support America’s great patriot farmers.”
“I am very pleased to see the funding we fought for begin to make its way to Georgia’s farmers and producers who have been hurting from the effects of Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters,” said Senator Isakson. “I thank President Trump and Secretary Sonny Perdue, and I encourage farmers eligible for this disaster aid to apply for this needed assistance. I remain committed to doing all I can to assist them as they work to recover from multiple natural disasters in recent years.”
“President Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have been stalwart champions for farmers across Georgia and the Southeast who were devastated by Hurricane Michael last October,” said Senator Perdue. “After breaking through the gridlock in Congress to get a bipartisan disaster relief package across the finish line, President Trump is again keeping his promise to deliver assistance to our farm families. I will continue working with the Trump Administration to ensure our Georgia farmers and agriculture communities receive the relief they need to get back on their feet.”
“After months of waiting and partisan gridlock in D.C., Georgia farm families are finally receiving the relief that they desperately need,” said Governor Kemp. “From the beginning, U.S. Senators Isakson and Perdue, Governor Deal, the General Assembly, and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black stood with those devastated by Hurricane Michael, and we doubled down on that support this past legislative session with millions more in relief dollars. Our delegation fought long and hard for this package, and I greatly appreciate their refusal to give in to congressional dysfunction. I also thank the President and his administration for their support of Georgia agriculture, and I look forward to working with them to ensure that these funds are delivered in a quick, efficient manner.”
“I applaud the implementation of this first component of the recovery package as it shows the President, Secretary and Congress have kept their word in assisting our farmers recover,” said Commissioner Black. “I would also like to recognize and salute the commitment of the grassroots effort of the USDA staff in every county in Georgia for their key role in serving the farm families in our state.”
More than $3 billion is available through the bipartisan disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in early June.
WHIP+ will be available for eligible producers who have suffered losses of certain crops, trees, bushes, or vines in counties with a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a Secretarial Disaster Designation (primary counties only). Disaster losses must have been a result of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms or wildfires that occurred in 2018 or 2019. A list of counties that received qualifying disaster declarations and designations is available here.