Yesterday, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced that USDA is accepting comments on a proposed rule to streamline the process for its Secretarial Disaster Designation, allowing farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disaster to obtain assistance faster.
The improvements outlined in the proposed rule aim to cut the time to make a disaster designation by as much as 70 percent. Designating disaster counties is a key step to authorizing disaster assistance for some of the programs administered by USDA.
Nelson stated that, “America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber, and fuel that continue to help us grow. Therefore, it’s crucial that we help farmers remain productive through difficult times. When disaster strikes, this proposal will help us provide assistance more quickly, streamlining processes from six steps to two. That’s the kind of improvement we need to make.”