Wisconsin Farmers Eligible For Disaster Relief

Agricultural operations in Wisconsin have been significantly impacted by recent tornadoes and flooding. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers recover from these adverse weather events.

Impacted producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses. Here, you can also learn more about program options for crop, infrastructure, and livestock losses.

Livestock Indemnity Program

Producers who experience livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality or sell injured livestock at a reduced price may be eligible for LIP. To participate in LIP, producers will have to provide acceptable documentation of death losses or evidence of reduced sales resulting from an eligible adverse weather event. You must submit a notice of loss to the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Livestock producers who experience losses related to tornadoes should check with their local FSA office for LIP eligibility criteria.  

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program

Meanwhile, ELAP provides eligible producers with compensation for feed and grazing losses. For ELAP, producers are required to complete a notice of loss and a payment application with their local FSA office no later than the annual program application deadline, Jan. 30, 2025, for 2024 calendar year losses.    

Tree Assistance Program

Additionally, eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers may be eligible for cost-share assistance through TAP to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes or vines. TAP complements the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program or crop insurance coverage, which covers the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases. For TAP, a program application must be filed within 90 days of the disaster event or the date when the loss of the trees, bushes, or vines is apparent. 

“Once you are able to evaluate the impact on your operation, be sure to contact your local FSA county office to timely report all crop, livestock and farm infrastructure damages and losses,” said Gene Schriefer, State Executive Director for FSA in Wisconsin. “To expedite FSA disaster assistance, you will likely need to provide documents, such as farm records, herd inventory, receipts and pictures of damages or losses.”

Farm Loans 

FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed farm loans, including operating and emergency farm loans, to producers unable to secure commercial financing. Producers in counties with a primary or contiguous disaster designation may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Loans can help producers replace essential property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, cover family living expenses, or refinance farm-related debts and other needs.

Additionally, FSA offers several loan servicing options available for borrowers who are unable to make scheduled payments on their farm loan program debt to the agency because of reasons beyond their control.

Farm Storage Facility Loan Program

FSFL provides low-interest financing so producers can build, repair, replace or upgrade facilities to store commodities. Loan terms vary from three to 12 years. Producers who incurred damage to or loss of their equipment or infrastructure funded by the FSFL program should contact their insurance agent and their local USDA Service Center. Producers in need of on-farm storage should also contact USDA.