Tropical Storm Eta added to the heavy rainfall our area has experienced recently, worsening flooding and causing some wind damage in many parts of Martin County. Nursery and vegetable growers are facing potential losses of their crops and income, as the floods promote disease, winds scar the fruits, and soils erode from fragile roots. Flooding can also contribute to disease and other issues in livestock. In our urban landscapes, while we didn’t have major wind damage, green industry professionals are managing flooded turf and in some cases pruning storm-damaged trees. This article offers potential funding resources for producers facing crop/livestock losses and information on storm recovery for producers and landscapers.
Funding for Storm Damage Recovery
The USDA’s Farm Services Agency (FSA) offers financial assistance to producers recovering from natural disasters. Currently, with Tropical Storm Eta having just occurred, our local FSA office is gathering information on damage observed. They can then determine what assistance may be needed. Our region’s FSA representative is Jenny Hoover. She can be reached by phone at (772) 461-4546 ext. 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms. Hoover encourages producers to contact her directly with information on the losses they are experiencing. For more information on FSA disaster aid, please refer to the UF/IFAS EDIS publication FSA Disaster Assistance.
Additionally, UF/IFAS Extension offices across the state conduct agricultural damage field assessments, which help inform federal disaster aid policy-making. If you would like us to visit your farm, nursery, ranch, or other agribusiness and document the damage you are facing, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office. Here in Martin County, contacts are:
- Farms, ranches, nurseries contact Yvette Goodiel, email@example.com or (772) 419-6962
- Aquaculture producers contact Vincent Encomio, firstname.lastname@example.org or (772) 419-6966
If you would like to report your own storm damage, please complete the survey online.
Recovery Information Resources
The University of Florida offers several publications with guidance on storm recovery. The UF/IFAS Disaster Preparation & Recovery website offers guidance for Trees & Landscapes; Agriculture & Livestock; Natural Resources & Marine Industries; and Health, Home & Pets. Additionally, UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture has a collection of resources focused on treating storm damaged trees. Lastly, UF/IFAS EDIS offers publications on turfgrass and vegetable disease management. If you need assistance identifying pests or diseases affecting your crop or landscape, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.