Georgia lawmakers encourage farmers, ranchers to start applying for federal disaster assistance

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRBL)- For farms on the mend after 2018 and 2019’s natural disasters, help is on the way.

“Sign up is open; sign up now,” said Rep. Austin Scott, (R) Georgia.

Scott is just one of several lawmakers urging his constituents to enroll for assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture.

More than $3 billion dollars is available for farmers and ranchers through the “Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus” Signup.

The funding came through the disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in early June.

Republican Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter says this extra money can help the blueberry farmers in his district who suffered devastating losses.

“They were expecting a harvest around 90 million pounds of blueberries instead they harvested around 30 million pounds. This is why this is so important,” said Carter.

Georgia Congressman Jody Hice says it’s a shame that farmers suffered while Congress debated.

But now that the money is available, lawmakers are urging farmers to find time to apply.

“I know that we’re approaching harvest and so when you get that rainy day when you can’t do it in the fields make sure you get in touch with that FSA office and get in there and get signed up” said Scott.

And that includes farmers hit by Hurricane Dorian. For more information, along with sign up details, visit the federal government website.

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