State offers flood assistance to farmers following June rain | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

State offers flood assistance to farmers following June rain

Posted: September 13, 2012 - 7:12pm

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for state flood assistance from farmers severely impacted by record rainfall and flooding in June.

Grants are available to eligible farmers in Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley, and St. Louis counties.

Gov. Mark Dayton and state legislators agreed to create the grant program as part of the package of disaster aid passed into law during the one-day special legislative session on Aug. 24. The program goal is to provide assistance to farmers recovering from the impacts of the severe storms.

Eligible losses may include, but are not limited to, feed and forage damages, damages to buildings or other agricultural structures, agricultural equipment losses, organic and specialty crop losses, and other related farm or ranch damages and expenditures.  Expenses for clean-up and debris removal are also eligible.

The application form can be found on the MDA website at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/disaster/floodgrant.aspx.  

Applications must be postmarked by Oct. 24. The applications will be reviewed and audited by MDA staff, with funds expected to be delivered in January.

While this flood assistance may not cover all losses, it should help in the recovery and rebuilding process. Due to limited funds and uncertainty about the number of applications, MDA reported it cannot estimate the level of reimbursement for individual applicants. After all applications are received, MDA will calculate these amounts based on the number and size of qualified claims in order to determine final allocations.

Farmers will need to provide the following information along with their application:

■ List of feed inventory or harvested forage losses.

■ List of capital damages including fencing, agricultural structural, agricultural equipment, or other capital losses.

■ List of debris removal expenses, organic and specialty crop losses and other losses or flood related expenditures.

■ Attach photo-copied receipts or verified estimates.

For more information about the program, contact MDA’s Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network at 877-898-6326.