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USDA Tree Assistance Program Available for Freeze Losses

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Blong Xiong reminds orchardists, nursery tree growers, and vineyardists who experienced losses from natural disasters during calendar year 2022, including the recent freeze, to apply for assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Growers have until 90 calendar days after the disaster event or when the loss becomes apparent to submit an application with supporting documentation. 

“We want to ensure all eligible growers who experienced losses from the recent freeze get the assistance they need,” said Xiong. “Natural disasters can greatly impact an operation, but our disaster assistance programs can help producers recover more quickly.” 

TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists, nursery tree growers, and vineyardists to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines lost due to natural disasters. The loss must be in excess of 15 percent mortality (adjusted for normal mortality). 

Eligible trees, bushes, and vines are those from which an annual crop is produced for commercial purposes. Nursery trees include ornamental, fruit, nut, and Christmas trees produced for commercial sale. Growers must have owned the trees, bushes or vines from the time of the disaster until the time that the TAP application is submitted but are not required to own the land on which eligible trees, bushes and vines were planted.  

Approved replacement and rehabilitation activities must be completed within 12 months from the date the application is approved. 

Producers should contact their local Agriculture Commissioner to inform of freeze damage and producers with insured crops should also contact their crop insurance agent to report losses.  A list of crop insurance agents is available online at the rma.usda.gov/Information-Tools/Agent-Locator-Page

For more information about TAP, visit fsa.usda.gov/tap or contact your local FSA office by visiting farmers.gov/service-locator. For more information on FSA disaster assistance programs, visit farmers.gov/recover.

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