In response to requests made by CCOF and other certifiers, the National...
As organic operations face unprecedented drought conditions in the western region in 2014, CCOF is trying to help by offering drought resources and ways for organic operations to support each other.
53 of California's 58 Counties Have Been Declared a Drought Disaster - FSA press release
Agricultural operators in all counties designated as natural disaster areas may qualify for low interest emergency (EM) loans of up to $500,000 through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Farmers and ranchers in designated counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for the EM loan to help cover part of their actual losses. To verify the deadline for application in your area, contact your county's FSA office.
NRCS Drought Help - Note that $20 million for agricultural water conservation projects will be released by NRCS in California. Read our blog post for details. Deadline to apply: March 3, 2014. Contact your local NRCS Service Center for information on the program and how to apply.
A Temporary Variance has been approved by the National Organic Program for organic livestock producers. Read more.
CDFA Drought Resources Page - includes information in Spanish and a list of federal and state agencies & assistance programs
UC Davis Rangeland Watershed Laboratory: Managing for Drought - Information on preparing for the various stages of drought
UC Cooperative Extension: Mitigating Drought Workshop Materials, Tools, and Resources
Includes information on alternative feedstuffs for livestock, presentation materials from drought workshop, reports from drought-affected counties.
Emergency Haying and Grazing - This program allows haying and grazing by producers with CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) contracts, though these activities can only take place outside of the Primary Nesting Season, which is April 1-June 1, 2014. As of now, Monterey County has been approved for emergency haying and San Luis Obispo and Siskiyou counties have been approved for emergency haying and grazing. Emergency haying and grazing must be approved by your county FSA office in advance.
Livestock producers have been exploring sprouted fodder as an alternative livestock feed that greatly reduces the amount of water used compared with field production. Read an overview of the process. Note that certified organic livestock and poultry producers must use certified organic seed in producing their sprouted fodder.
Farm Aid: Disaster Assistance for Farmers
USDA Drought Programs and Assistance - Includes link to FSA Hay Net (Internet-based service allowing farmers and ranchers to share "Need Hay" ads and "Have Hay" ads online) and "Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch."
California Foodlink - Source of healthy food for those needing a little help
Crop Insurance Sign Ups - Contact the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for More Information
Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) - March 1 deadline for annual crops: green beans, herbs, squash, carrots, peppers, broccoli, etc.
This program provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when yields/inventory are less than 50% of expected or more than 35% of planting is prevented due to natural disasters, including drought. Producer must apply for coverage by the application closing date and pay a service fee. Producers with a 3-year non-farm average adjusted gross income greater than $500K are not eligible. Farmers have 15 days to file a Notice of Loss after noticing or experiencing loss. California deadlines are approaching: March 1, 2014, is the last day to buy coverage for annual crops (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, etc.). More info on NAP (PDF). Contact your local FSA office for more information.