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SIOUX CITY | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that beginning this week, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Livestock Indemnity Program will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012-14. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program provides emergency assistance to eligible producers who have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires.

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Enrollment has also begun for the Tree Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.

Producers who want to sign up should contact their local FSA office for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment.

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