Guidance on Claims for NC Aquaculture

— Written By NC State Extension

The following content was compiled and written by Pete Anderson, N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agribusiness and Aquaculture Consultant. It is published here with his permission.

Important Disaster Assistance Information (long-term v/s short-term), Follow-up and Additional Resources

There are several requests coming in for financial disaster assistance, but unfortunately, this process will take months.

“You may hear rumors about grants for individuals or businesses. This is common after every disaster and often leads people to delay their own recovery plans. There are NO grants. There is only hard work, good decisions, ingenuity, good advice from experienced professionals and loan programs. Be proactive, be patient and be persistent in pursuing your recovery. It’s a long road. However, local, state and federal partners work closely to provide as much assistance as possible.” SBTDC

In the event of an emergency situation please alert your local county emergency management contact and identify your concern as ‘agriculture’. This is your closest and fastest response resource. All requests begin at the county level and are forwarded to NC State Emergency Management for assignment to agencies that can assist.

Storm damage estimates should be recorded at NC Aquaculture Hurricane Florence Damage Report Assessment. This report will be used to update possible Disaster Assistance Funding resources through NCDA&CS and provides farm contact information. This survey is the best way to notify NC Aquaculture of damage to your farm and any necessary long-term assistance.

The NC Aquaculture Association Eastern Meeting will be rescheduled for October. A portion of the meeting will be focused on disaster assistance. For more information on disaster assistance resources, please use the links below:

NCDA&CS
NCCE

Short-term Resources for Immediate Support

Below are a few resources that may help in the short-term recovery process.

SBTDC has some great resources and contact information for small to mid-size businesses.
Disaster Recovery Centers are opening in many areas, there will be SBA Business Recovery Centers opening as well.

NC Rural Center – Hurricane Florence Rapid Recovery Loans may be of some assistance. These resources are primarily emergency loans to assist with cash flow for your operational needs.

Important USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Information

Below is information regarding programs and assistance with USDA-FSA. Please reach out to your county FSA office to notify them of any loss.  Find your county office number.

There are several important deadlines for filing with FSA, NAP, or other programs listed below. Non-Insurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) participants must have filed an application for coverage prior to September 1, 2017, for the 2018 Crop Year. Most loss claims must be filed within 15 days, hand harvested crops such as oysters require notification with 72 hours.

Do not delay in contacting your county FSA Office. Plans are underway to have an FSA representative at the October NCAA meeting to answer your specific questions. Below are FSA programs that may be of assistance:

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) offers cost-share assistance to producers for removing debris from farmland; grading, shaping, or re-leveling cropland; restoring permanent fences; and restoring conservation structures.

Filing for Assistance:

  • Program must be approved for the county
  • A signup period will be announced in each county (please file a loss report with your county FSA office to be on record)
  • Take pictures of damage to submit to FSA
  • You will need to provide the following information
    • Location of damage
    • Type of damage
    • Extent of damage
    • Estimate of what is needed to repair
    • Type of equipment, materials, labor

*Assistance is to RESTORE back to the original shape before the storm. Upgrades and enhancements will not be approved. Pictures are essential in helping determine the level of damage and that it matches the amount requested.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) Provides financial assistance to producers that have lost feed in storage that was harvested, or purchased, by the producer to feed their livestock. Also offers assistance for losses of honeybees (hives or colonies), or farm-raised fish, not used for food.

Filing for Assistance:

Application dates will be announced soon. Contact your local FSA Service Center.

You will need to provide the follow information:

  •    Total Inventory before loss
  •    Amount lost
  •    Verification of losses will be needed, such as inventories and invoices, etc.