HARRISBURG – With the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, State Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) will be introducing legislation to further assist agricultural operations in times of disaster that cause significant crop loss and damage.
The legislative measure will establish the ‘Agriculture Disaster Recovery Program’ to be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
“This program will offer increased flexibility and assistance to producers, not only today but in the future, who are facing income and production-related losses as a direct result of an agricultural disaster.” Yaw said. “Implementation of this program will also assist those left devastated from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.”
Components of the program will include a 100 percent guarantee provided by the Commonwealth through the First Industries Loan Program and the creation of an “Interest Buy-Down Program” within the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture which is capped at four percent for the agricultural operation, providing for zero interest loans.
Funding will be provided for the following program guidelines: Working Capital, Land Contamination Remediation and Land Restoration, which will include floodway restoration and the removal of debris and/or obstructions in order to stabilize and restore the integrity of a creek, stream or waterway.
The Agriculture Disaster Recovery Program will be open for a six month period for application following a Presidential, USDA and/or Commonwealth disaster declaration in any county or the Commonwealth as a whole.
“In addition to the flood relief package unveiled last month, this legislation will serve as a measure to assist and support our number one industry, agriculture.” Yaw added.
Contact: Nick Troutman