Drought Assistance Programs
Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
an FSA Program to help replace trees, vines, bushes lost to the 2016 drought
Tom Smiarowski & Paul Russell, UMass Exenstion
Orchardists, small fruit and nursery tree & shrub growers who experience losses from natural disasters during calendar year 2016 may be eligible for assistance under TAP, which is administered by the USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers must submit a TAP application either 90 calendar days after the disaster event or the date when the loss is apparent.
TAP was authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 as a permanent disaster program. TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
Eligible tree types include trees, bushes or vines that produce an annual crop for commercial purposes. Nursery trees include ornamental, fruit, nut and Christmas trees that are produced for commercial sale. Trees used for pulp or timber are ineligible.
To qualify for TAP, orchardists must suffer a qualifying tree, bush or vine loss in excess of 15 percent mortality from an eligible natural disaster. The eligible trees, bushes or vines must have been owned when the natural disaster occurred; however, eligible growers are not required to own the land on which the eligible trees, bushes and vines were planted. If the TAP application is approved, the eligible trees, bushes and vines must be replaced within 12 months from the date the application is approved. The cumulative total quantity of acres planted to trees, bushes or vines, for which a producer can receive TAP payments, cannot exceed 500 acres annually.
Interested growers should contact the FSA Office that serves their farming operation. Questions regarding eligible trees, vines and bushes should be directed to the FSA Offices. See the UMass Fruit Advisor website for more information.
TAP Fact Sheet - https://ag.umass.edu/sites/ag.umass.edu/files/news/pdf/tap_fact_sheet.pdf
Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund
New Fund Will provide affordable working capital to family farms and other small businesses impacted by historic drought conditions
Rick LeBlanc, MDAR
The Baker-Polito Administration has announced the launch of the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund, which has the capacity to provide up to $1 million in micro-loans to family farms and other small businesses affected by widespread drought conditions in Massachusetts. The Drought Emergency Loan Fund is part of the Baker-Polito Administration's coordinated response
to five consecutive months of abnormally dry weather across the Commonwealth.
“Small businesses are the bedrock of the Massachusetts economy, and our administration is deeply committed to maintaining the health and vibrancy of family-owned businesses,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Like the emergency loan fund we launched following record snowstorms, this Drought Emergency Loan Fund will provide affordable working capital to small businesses grappling with the aftermath of extreme weather.”
“Massachusetts family-owned farms play an integral role in our state’s broader economy, by providing jobs, driving regional tourism, and conserving land,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This new loan fund is one important component of our comprehensive effort to help family farms and other agriculture-related small businesses recover from this summer’s prolonged drought.”
“Farms around the Commonwealth are a vital part of our state’s economy, and continue to ensure residents have access to healthy, locally-grown culinary products,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “The Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will allow Massachusetts’ farmers to seek financial relief during this period of prolonged dry weather as they continue to offer fresh, nutritious products to consumers.”
“We are pleased to offer this support to struggling family farms and related businesses hit hard by the drought,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “Our team will provide prompt review of each application and work to help local farmers in need.”
“This affordable, flexible loan program will help agricultural businesses regain financial stability and recover quickly from lost revenue due to the drought,” said Assistant Secretary of Business Development Nam Pham.
For more information about the loan fund, and to access an online application, visit www.massgcc.com
Link to this release: http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-releases/fy2017/administration-launches-drought-emergency-loan-fund.html
(Source: MDAR Farm and Market Report, 9/8//16
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