GFB President Long thanks President Trump for signing disaster assistance bill

MACON, Ga. – The following quote can be attributed to Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long in response to President Donald Trump signing H.R. 2157, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.

“Georgia Farm Bureau is grateful that President Trump quickly signed the bill into law. Hopefully the funds authorized in this bill will help Georgia farmers struggling to recover from Hurricane Michael put the storm behind them and move forward with doing what they do best – producing a safe and plentiful food supply for their fellow citizens.”

The bill includes funding to assist farmers in their recovery from Hurricane Michael, which struck Southwest Georgia on Oct. 10, 2018, leaving an estimated $2.5 billion of agricultural damage in its wake. Many farmers desperately need funds to pay off loans to close out the 2018 crop year.

Key components of the bill, according to analysis from the American Farm Bureau Federation:

USDA office of the secretary

• USDA was allotted $3.005 billion to assist with the loss of crops because of Hurricanes Michael and Florence, as well as other natural disasters occurring in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. Funding will be available until Dec. 31, 2020. A provision is also included for losses of peach and blueberry crops from extreme cold and hurricane damage in 2017 and 2018. Orchardists and pecan tree growers may receive payments if their tree mortality rate is over 7.5% and below 15% (adjusted for normal mortality) in calendar year 2018.

Farm Service Agency

• $480 million to help owners of non-industrial private forests restore forest health, under the Emergency Forest Restoration program.

• $558 million for the Emergency Conservation Program which helps farmers and ranchers recover damaged farmland and install methods for water conservation during a severe drought.

• $435 million for watershed protection and flood prevention practices   to assist with rural watershed recovery.

 Rural Development

• $150 million for Rural Development Community Facilities Grants, which assist small rural communities in improving and repairing essential public services and facilities.

CONTACT: Jeffrey Harvey