Information on Available Drought Assistance
[Note: Deadlines may have expired. Any determinations concerning eligibility for any USDA programs will need to be made by USDA. Farmers can find contact information for their local USDA FSA Office here.]
The State of Georgia has recently faced significant drought conditions. We have compiled information for impacted farmers below. This includes background on available federal assistance programs, recent updates and announcements surrounding the drought, and details on how farmers can submit relevant background information to USDA, the U.S. Drought Monitor, and the Georgia State Climatologist’s office on any drought conditions that may be facing.
My office has diligently worked with USDA, the U.S. Drought Monitor, the Georgia State Climatologist’s office, and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices to submit pertinent and accurate environmental data to the U.S. Drought Monitor. I stand committed to ensuring all farmers experiencing drought conditions in Southwest and Middle Georgia are receiving the appropriate level of assistance.
Background on Drought Reporting Organizations
The U.S. Drought Monitor is an organization based out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This organization produces a weekly map, every Thursday morning, of drought conditions across the entire country each week as a combined effort among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Farmers, ranchers, and producers can submit supporting data and documentation regarding drought conditions directly to the U.S. Drought Monitor here.
Further background how the U.S. Drought Monitor's works and how you can get involved and share information can be found here.
The Office of the State Climatologist is a group in the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The Office of the State Climatologist is responsible for the collection, disseminations, and interpretation of climate data for every county across Georgia. This office also works directly with the U.S. Drought Monitor by reporting pertinent environmental data to be considered by authors when creating the weekly national map of drought conditions
To report drought conditions, farmers, ranchers, and producers can find the contact information for the State Climatologist here.
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Office is an organization with several functions dedicated to serving the people of Georgia in the areas of agriculture, the environment, communities, youth, and families. UGA Cooperative Extension is a partnership between The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and The College of Family & Consumer Sciences.
Agriculture & Natural Resource County Extension Agents are responsible for all services and programing for farmers in their respective counties, including submitting pertinent environmental data regarding drought conditions to the U.S. Drought Monitor and the Office of the State Climatologist.
Farmers, ranchers, and producers can work with their County Extension Agents to collect pertinent environmental data and document drought conditions. Contact information for Extension offices can be found here.
Counties with Potential Eligibility for USDA's Livestock Forage Disaster Program in Georgia's 2nd Congressional District
Depending on the severity of a county's drought designation, farmers may have access to payments from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for grazing losses from drought-affected pastureland and cropland. Access to LFP generally requires a drought intensity value during the growing season of (1) D2 (Drought-Severe) for 8 or more weeks; or (2) D3 (Drought-Extreme) or D4 (Drought-Exceptional) for any period of time.
My office worked with Secretary Vilsack in early November to extend the 2016 grazing period for LFP from October 31 to December 1, 2016. This extension ensured that farmers did not automatically lose eligibility to receive assistance as USDA examined the scope of the drought in Georgia.
As of December 2, 2016, the U.S. Drought Monitor has assigned the following drought designations of D2 or higher to counties in Georgia's 2nd Congressional District:
Severe Drought [D2]: Seminole, Decatur
Extreme Drought [D3]: Macon, Schley, Dooly, Crisp, Grady, Sumter, Webster, Stewart, Quitman, Randolph, Terrell, Lee, Clay, Calhoun, Dougherty, Early, Miller, Baker, Mitchell
Exceptional Drought [D4]: Muscogee, Talbot, Taylor, Crawford, Bibb, Chattahoochee, Marion, Peach
You can view the U.S. Drought Monitor's drought map for Georgia here.
Further background on LFP can be found here.
Counties with Potential Eligibility for USDA's Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District
A disaster designation also provides eligibility for certain types of disaster loan assistance. The main disaster assistance program triggered by these designations is consideration for low-interest emergency loans. These designations also trigger access to the Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) program, which enables producers with a direct loan from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to move one annual payment to the end of the loan if the producers are not able to make their payments on schedule.
Background on FSA's Emergency Loan Program can be found here.
Background on FSA's Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) program can be found here.
Find your local FSA Office here.
Primary Disaster Designations
- Mitchell, Miller [December 2, 2016]
- Baker, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Dougherty, Early, Marion, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Webster [November 28, 2016]
- Taylor, Terrell [November 16, 2016]
- Crawford, Crisp, Dooly, Lee, Macon, Sumter [November 3, 2016]
- Muscogee [October 21, 2016]
- Bibb, Peach [September 29, 2016]
- Talbot [August 11, 2016]
Contiguous Disaster Designations
- Dougherty, Early, Seminole, Worth [December 2, 2016]
- Dooly, Lee, Macon, Mitchell, Muscogee, Seminole, Sumter, Tablor, Taylor, Terrell [November 28, 2016]
- Calhoun, Crawford, Dougherty, Lee, Macon, Marion, Peach, Randolph, Schley, Sumter, Talbot, Webster [November 16, 2016]
- Clay, Stewart, Quitman [November 3, 2016]
- Chattahoochee [October 21, 2016]
*Disclaimer: We have striven to provide accurate data and information. However, changes can occur, sometimes swiftly, and we do not guarantee that all data and information on this page is current. Any determinations concerning eligibility for any USDA programs will need to be made by USDA. Farmers can find contact information for their local USDA FSA Office here.