I’ve gotten many phone calls on eligibility for the Farm Recovery Block Grant which will be going live next Wednesday, Mar 18th.
Little details have been made public since the press conference with Governor Kemp on Feb 26th officially announced the $347 million of allocated funds.
The GDA has added to their Block Grant website, farmrecovery.com, a 15-page worksheet which goes step-by-step into the process of applying. It includes what questions you’ll be asked on the applications and what supporting documents will be needed for each “commodity” covered.
The worksheet can also be accessed as a pdf here: GA Farm Recovery Block Grant Applicant Worksheet.
Also, this morning UGA ANR agents had a webinar with a GDA representative to help us understand what to expect from the Grant. For transparency, there are still some unknowns/grey areas as to eligibility but here are highlighted takeaways from the discussion:
- Applications will be live on GDA’s website from Mar 18 to 11:59 PM on Apr 8, 2020 (3 week application window)
- Priority will not be given to applications submitted first, i.e.- the full applicant pool will be looked at only after the Apr 8 closing date has passed
- State Ag Commissioner, Gary Black, says this [paraphrasing here] will be a springtime activity….meaning that the first round of checks might be distributed in the spring
- Fencing is not covered
- The Block Grant will provide assistance for seven “commodities” which are: timber, beef, dairy, poultry, fruit & veggie, pecans, and uninsured infrastructure
- For beef, dairy, and pecans – “future income loss” is what is covered
- “Loss of/from inputs” is what is covered for fruit & nut
- Every applicant will need to create an account, with a valid email address provided
- Separate applications for each “Farm Entity” – Tax ID (use SSN if not incorporated) is necessary
- Physical Location – Lat & Long necessary for each Farm Operation / Application
- Need to certify that the damage is at least 15% – timber, fruit & nut, etc.
- Uninsured Infrastructure – Structures are only eligible if they were being used to store an ag commodity (and there was 15% or more damage) at the time of the storm, and irrigation systems are only eligible if they were covering a crop which experienced 15% or more loss.
- Having received assistance from FSA program(s) (MFP, WHIP+, etc.) does not affect eligibility to apply and/or receive Block Grant assistance
- Payments are limited to $900,000 per individual
- 2 yrs of crop insurance needed if payments are received
- Applications with missing information will not be submitted
- Applicants can check the status of their applications after the Apr 8th deadline on the GDA website.
I know there’s a lot of criteria and detail in this yet-to-be accessible application so please reach out to me (229-417-7062) with any questions, comments, and/or concerns.
Thanks for your patience as we all work to understand this resource.