California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary A.G. Kawamura reminds California farmers who suffered agricultural losses in 2008 that the deadline for several disaster assistance programs has been extended to May 18, 2009.

“Farmers in California always seem to find a way to put food on the nation’s tables despite fires, floods, drought and other natural disasters,” said Kawamura. “Those farms and ranches hit hardest by Mother Nature in 2008 may be eligible for federal assistance, and the deadline to qualify has been extended to May 18.”

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 authorized several disaster assistance programs including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

Producers who did not have crop insurance or Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for 2008 can pay a buy-in fee to become eligible for assistance, but they must do so by May 18.

Details about these programs and the application process are available online at www.fsa.usda.gov/ca.