MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Commissioner Rick Pate announced today the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will be administering the Alabama Agriculture Relief Program (AARP) to provide USDA relief funds to farmers who suffered losses due to Hurricane Michael. In 2018, Alabama’s Wiregrass experienced substantial economic losses due to severe agriculture damage caused by Hurricane Michael.
“Our department has worked closely with the USDA to reach an agreement on a disaster relief package since June 2019. We understand that these disaster funds are a long time coming but we hope the AARP will provide some economic relief for these farmers who suffered devastating losses from Hurricane Michael," said Commissioner Pate. "We want to thank our federal partners for providing this much needed financial assistance to our Wiregrass farmers."
AARP will provide funds for necessary expenses related to losses of beef cattle, poultry, pecans, horticulture crops (including bare-ground losses) and uninsured infrastructure damage related to the consequences of Hurricane Michael in 2018. The eligible affected Alabama counties, per the USDA Disaster Declaration include Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Pike, Montgomery, and Russell.
Funding is available to producers with qualifying losses associated with Hurricane Michael not covered by other USDA disaster programs for the following:
1) Beef Cattle
Eligible beef cattle producers must have experienced conception rate reductions that resulted in the stress placed on beef cattle or mortality losses of the breeding herd. Conception losses will be determined based on the breeding age females in the beef cattle herd as a result of the hurricane.
Eligible poultry producers must have suffered a 15% death loss and had poultry present at the time of the hurricane. If a property and casualty insurance payment was made, applicants must provide appropriate documents to qualify.
3) Pecan Production
Eligible producers must have suffered damaged or destroyed pecan trees that required removal and replanting. A producer must show a minimum of 15% production loss to qualify.
4) Horticulture crops (including bare-ground losses)
Eligible producers must show a minimum of 15% crop loss to qualify for reimbursement on acres damaged and must have had an adverse impact on bare-ground horticulture practices.
5) Uninsured Infrastructure losses
Eligible producers must show a 15% production loss of a commodity housed inside farming infrastructure due to Hurricane Michael. Structures must have had commodities present at the time of the hurricane (ex. Hay barn, grain bin, commodity barn, packing house, etc.). This does not include equipment buildings, repair shops, etc. Payment will be based on cost of repairs/restoration for an in-kind storage structure minus any insurance claim reimbursement and cannot exceed $50,000.00 Irrigation structures are also eligible but is limited to structures above ground level and excludes generators, pumps, and wells.
Before applications are made available, producers interested in applying are strongly encouraged to visit the Department’s website agi.alabama.gov to learn program details. ADAI will host an in-person education and outreach session Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 6:00 pm at the Headland High School gymnasium.
AARP applications will be available, starting Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:00 am and the application deadline is Friday, June 25, 2021.
Producers who apply for the AARP must:
1) Be an Alabama resident.
2) The affected farm must be in one of the 13 Hurricane Michael USDA Disaster declared counties.
3) Enroll into the State of Alabama Accounting and Resource System (STAARS). Refer to agi.alabama.gov for enrollment details.
For questions regarding AARP eligibility, please call 334-240-7100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.