In response to the impact of heavy rainfall and extensive flooding across the state, Governor Phil Scott has declared a State of Emergency, focusing on providing vital support to farmers and their families during this challenging time.
Understanding the urgent needs of farmers, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets announced their comprehensive assistance within a resource hub on their website. This resource hub provides access to a range of crucial resources for farming communities, including technical expertise, financial aid, counseling services, and trained peer support.
The Agency of Agriculture announced to begin the path to recovery, farmers are encouraged to conduct thorough assessments of damages on a field-by-field and crop-by-crop basis, and promptly reporting losses is crucial for accessing available assistance.
Those with private crop insurance should contact their insurance agents without delay to report losses and initiate the claims process. Producers with Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage must reach out to their local FSA Office to report losses and access the support provided.
The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program is available to provide aid for livestock and feed losses, including beekeeping operations. Farmers in need of support are encouraged to reach out to their local FSA Office for detailed information on accessing assistance through the ELAP program. Even farms without crop insurance can report losses at their local FSA Office, ensuring that every possible avenue for assistance is explored.
Horticultural crop producers, Christmas tree growers, and plant nurseries are urged to promptly report losses to their respective local FSA offices. For a comprehensive overview of available programs relevant to specific agricultural operations, the USDA Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool is a resource available that can provide farmers with additional recovery options.
For produce growers seeking specialized guidance on dealing with the impact of flooding on crops and fields, the Vermont Produce Program Team offers valuable insights into managing and handling flooded produce. The Vermont Produce Program, FDA, and UVM Extension provide resources and guidance to help farmers navigate these challenges and make informed decisions.
The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program offers a wealth of resources for crop farmers dealing with damaged crops and forage. Specific guidelines are provided to assist farmers in managing damaged corn and other crops effectively.
The dairy industry has been significantly impacted by the ongoing flooding. To address challenges related to milk disposal and identify alternative solutions, Jessica Mason, from the Non-Sewage Waste Program, can be contacted at Jessica.Mason@vermont.gov.
Guidance is also available for meat and poultry processors on reopening their facilities after flood-related damage. Licensed handlers, including commercial and custom slaughter and processing facilities, retailers, wholesale distributors, and warehouses, can access comprehensive guidelines to ensure a safe and efficient resumption of operations.
With the State of Emergency in effect, Vermont remains committed to supporting its farmers throughout the recovery process.