Crop Disaster Relief Receives Few Complaints

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DES MOINES, Iowa - After the farm bill was passed early this year, the U.S Department of Agriculture had the unenviable task of implementing its provisions.

While USDA has made progress on implementing all twelve titles of the farm bill, the first area targeted was disaster payments for producers who suffered losses in 2012 and 2013. It took USDA over a year to set up disaster payments after the 2008 farm bill, but this time around, payments were heading to producers in under 10 weeks.

At last tally in July, just over 150,000 claims had been processed and just under $2 billion had been disbursed.

In a teleconference on September 17, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said implementation progress appears to be smooth.

"And I haven't had a lot of complaints yet from farmers, I've had some questions about how this new law differs from previous law but I haven't had much questions from constituents yet on the implementation on it so I'd have to say at this point I'm willing to entertain questions or problems that farmers bring up to me."

Grassley says those questions or problems would be taken directly to USDA.

Of note is the September 22 deadline for fruit crop growers seeking assistance through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance program, if they suffered a loss to the cold snap in 2012.

44 Iowa counties are eligible for help with fruit losses: Adair, Allamakee, Benton, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Chickasaw, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Des Moines, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Mitchell, Monona, Muscatine, Osceola, Pottawattamie, Shelby, Van Buren, Washington and Webster.

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