Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a package of program improvements to deliver faster and more flexible assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters. He announced three significant improvements to decades-old USDA programs and processes related to secretarial disaster designations, including:
Secretary Vilsack said, “By amending the secretarial disaster designation, we're creating a more efficient and effective process. And by delivering lower interest rates on emergency loans and providing greater flexibility for haying and grazing on CRP lands, we're keeping more farmers in business and supporting our rural American communities through difficult times. With these improvements, we're also telling American producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."