Thursday, May 20, 2010

USDA Implements Tree Assistance Program

USDA Implements Tree Assistance Program

Orchardists and nursery tree growers can begin applying for benefits under the Tree Assistance Program. The signup began Monday, May 10, at Henderson-Polk-Transylvania County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The phone number is (828) 693-1406, ext. 2.

The program provides cost-share assistance to orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant and rehabilitate after natural disasters. It provides assistance for trees, bushes and vines grown for commercial purposes and covered by crop insurance or NAP. The program has been expanded to include Christmas tree and nursery tree growers that were ineligible before. Trees grown for pulp or timber or not grown for commercial purposes are

not eligible.

Eligible losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. To qualify for TAP, there must have been actual tree, bush, vine, etc. deaths in the stand and those losses must have been in excess of 15 percent mortality (plus adjustment for normal mortality) from an eligible natural disaster for the individual stand.

The deadline to apply for losses that occurred in 2008, 2009, or in 2010 prior to May 7 is July 6, 2010.

For more information contact Kelly Springs, (828) 693-1406 ext. 2