WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that producers in counties affected by eligible disaster events in Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, and Tennessee can apply for cost-share assistance through the Emergency Grain Storage Facility Assistance Program (EGSFP). The new program provides cost-share assistance for the construction of new grain storage capacity and drying and handling needs, in order to support the orderly marketing of commodities. An initial allocation of $20 million in cost-share assistance is available to agricultural producers in affected counties impacted by the damage to or destruction of large commercial grain elevators as a result of natural disasters from Dec. 1, 2021, to Aug. 1, 2022. The application period opens later this month and closes Dec. 29, 2023.
“Weather events in 2021 and 2022 in several states caused catastrophic losses to grain storage facilities on family farms as well as a large, commercial grain elevator, leaving stored grain exposed to the elements and affecting storage and commodity marketing options for many producers,” Vilsack said. “USDA heard from congressional leaders, including Minority Leader McConnell, who identified a gap in our disaster assistance toolkit and used our Commodity Credit Corporation authority to act more quickly than waiting for specific legislation. This new program will provide cost-share assistance to help producers address their on-farm storage capacity needs that are necessary for marketing grain.”
This assistance from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is designed to help producers affected by the December 2021 tornadoes that passed through 11 counties in Kentucky, as well as producers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee affected by eligible disaster events in 2022. The program was previewed last fall and will be made available with the publication of the Notice in the Federal Register.
Maps showing the location of damaged grain facilities in Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota and surrounding eligible areas are available online. These maps depict damaged storage facility locations and the affected counties within a 30-mile radius of these facilities where producers may be eligible to apply for EGSFP benefits if they can demonstrate a need for additional on-farm grain storage capacity.
Additionally, FSA may determine a need for EGSFP assistance in counties in other states and regions during the application period where an eligible disaster event has damaged storage facility locations. Eligible disaster events include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, derechos, straight-line winds and winter storms that occurred between Dec. 1, 2021, and Aug. 1, 2022.
EGSFP helps producers build permanent or temporary on-farm grain storage capacity, restore existing storage capacity, and purchase drying and handling equipment in affected counties.
The following types of new/used facilities and upgrades are eligible for cost-share assistance and must have a useful life of at least three years:
· conventional-type cribs or bins designed and engineered for grain storage
· open buildings with two end walls
· converted storage structures
· asphalt, concrete or gravel floors with grain piles and tarp covering,
· ag baggers (including bags)
On-farm grain storage structures may account for aeration, drainage, and may require loading or unloading augers, drying and handling equipment.
How to Apply
Producers must submit the EGSFP Application, form FSA-413, and any additional required forms to their FSA county office either in person, by mail, email, or facsimile starting later this month and by the Dec. 29, 2023, deadline. Form FSA-413-1, Continuation Sheet for EGSFP, must be submitted with the FSA-413 when a group of producers are applying for assistance.
FSA will use the producer’s self-certified cost of the additional on-farm grain storage capacity or drying and handling equipment needed multiplied by the producer’s share of grain.
This amount will then be multiplied by the cost share factor of 75% or 90%. An eligible producer who certifies they are socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning and veteran farmer or rancher by filing form CCC-860 with FSA will receive the higher 90% cost share rate.
For more information visit the program webpage or the EGSFP fact sheet. USDA also has an existing Farm Storage Facility Loan Program that can immediately provide low-interest financing for eligible producers who may not be eligible for EGSFP but are in need of on-farm storage capacity.