Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) recently announced that the Block Grant Assistance Act failed to receive the three-fifths of votes needed to pass in the U.S. Senate. The House passed the act in June. The bill would provide needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue block grants to growers devastated by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.
FCM recognized U.S. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio and other members of Florida’s congressional delegation for trying to get the act through Congress. FCM continues to engage Congress to get both the block grant authority language, as well as additional funding for 2022 disasters, into any upcoming congressional disaster supplemental package or omnibus bill.
On another disaster aid front, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the application window for the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for 2022 storms is now open. ERP will provide payments to eligible crop producers for losses due to qualifying 2022 calendar year disaster events.
FCM stated that growers should be aware that due to progressive factoring, ERP 2022 aid will be significantly less than earlier iterations of the ERP program.
ERP 2022 will be administered through two tracks. Track 1 will assist eligible crop producers who received indemnities for eligible crop or tree losses through certain federal crop insurance policies or payments for crop losses through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Track 2 will assist eligible crop producers for other eligible crop and tree losses through a revenue-based approach.
FCM encouraged citrus growers to contact FSA for more information or assistance. FCM provided several other resources that growers can access for more information:
- FCM Emergency Relief Program Summary
- Emergency Relief Program Track 1 Fact Sheet
- Emergency Relief Program Track 2 Fact Sheet
- Emergency Relief Program Federal Register
Source: Florida Citrus Mutual