Farmers can sign up for crop aid starting Nov. 14

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers hit hard by bad weather in 2010 can begin applying for supplemental revenue assistance payments — known as SURE — on Nov. 14.

All Mississippi counties and most Louisiana parishes were declared agricultural disaster areas during 2010.

Sixteen declarations in Mississippi started with freezing rain in January, storms and tornadoes through the spring, and drought and excessive heat since the start of summer. In Louisiana, drought was the reason and 42 parishes were listed.

To qualify for SURE, a farmer must be in a county in which a disaster has been declared and lost at least 10 percent of production for one economically significant crop. Crops must be insured through the Farm Service Agency.

Farmers outside a disaster county are eligible if they lost at least half their normal production.

Beginning farmers or ranchers, or those who meet the definition of socially disadvantaged, are exempt from the insurance requirement.

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Online:

USDA 2010 disaster map:

http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/sure_2010gis_final050311pd.pdf