Winter Storms

Has your agricultural operation been impacted by a winter storm? USDA is here to help you prepare for and recover from blizzards, freeze, frost and other cold weather events.

Recovery on Your Operation

USDA offers a suite of disaster assistance programs that can help with recovery, including:

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

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish. It covers losses due to an eligible adverse weather or loss conditions. 

Livestock Indemnity Program

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides benefits to livestock owners and contract growers who experience livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by specific adverse weather, disease, or animal attacks.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevents crop planting. Producers must have obtained NAP coverage for the crop year in which the loss occurs.

Tree Assistance Program

The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides cost-share assistance to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes or vines lost during the natural disaster.  TAP complements NAP or federal crop insurance coverage, which covers the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases.  This program provides assistance for trees, bushes or vines not covered by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program or crop insurance.  

Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program 

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) provide financial and technical assistance to restore conservation practices like fencing, damaged farmland or forests.  

Environmental Quality Incentives Program 

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to help with immediate needs and long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water resources. Assistance may also be available for emergency animal mortality disposal from natural disasters and other causes.   

Farm Loans

USDA offers a variety of direct and guaranteed loans, including operating and emergency loans, to eligible producers unable to secure commercial financing. 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, several loan servicing options are available for borrowers who are unable to make scheduled payments on their farm loan program debt because of reasons beyond their control. 

Protect Your Operation

If you do not have crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage, consider these risk management options to help protect your operation.  

  • For crop insurance, use the Agent Locator to find a crop insurance agent near you. USDA’s Risk Management Agency works closely with Approved Insurance Providers, who sell and service the policies that producers purchase, to ensure efficient loss adjustment and prompt claims payments.  
  • For Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, contact your USDA Service Center to obtain coverage.

Reporting Losses/Submitting Applications

If your operation was impacted by a natural disaster and you have an interest in participating in an available disaster assistance program, you should report losses and damages to FSA and/or your Approved Insurance Provider for crop insurance claims.

Timelines to file notices of loss and submit applications differ by program or coverage:

  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program: File with your Service Center within 30 days for livestock and fish and within 15 days for honeybees. 
  • Tree Assistance Program: File a program application with your Service Center within 90 days. 
  • Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program: File notice of loss with your Service Center within 15 days, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be filed within 72 hours. 
  • Crop Insurance: Contact your agent within 72 hours of discovering damage and follow up in writing within 15 days. 

Documentation

It’s critical to keep accurate records to document all losses following devastating cold weather events. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking time and date-stamped video or pictures prior to the loss.

Other common documentation options agricultural producers might want to have on hand include:

  • Purchase records
  • Production records
  • Vaccination records
  • Bank or other loan documents
  • Third-party certification

Resources

Translated Resources

Visit our Translations page to find translated disaster resources and other USDA resources in languages other than English. 

Find Your Local Service Center

We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the pandemic. Some USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.