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USDA offers new disaster benefit programs

The Baltimore Sun

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering three new programs that provide benefits to farmers and ranchers who suffered losses caused by natural disasters.

Eligible ranchers and other livestock producers who signed up by Sept. 10 can apply for benefits under the Livestock Compensation Program or the Livestock Indemnity Program. Farmers can sign up for the Crop Disaster Program beginning Oct. 15.

The first program compensates livestock producers for feed losses and the second for livestock losses, both between Jan. 1, 2005, and Feb. 28, 2007.

The crop program provides benefits to farmers who suffered losses to 2005, 2006 or 2007 crops if the crop was planted before Feb. 28, 2007, or for crops that would have been planted before Feb. 28, 2007.

Producers must choose one year for which they want to apply for benefits.

Information: 410-848-2780 or Agricultural Assistance Act of 2007 at www.fsa.usda.gov and click on Disaster Assistance Programs.

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