Billions of dollars available for farm disaster relief

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there are more than $3 billion available for farmers hurt by disasters this year.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says farmers in the state have had major losses from spring weather events, so he appreciates action from the federal government helping out.

"We appreciate the USDA taking action to provide much-needed resources to the farmers, agribusinesses and communities hardest hit by the spring flooding," he said. "While these programs cannot make our producers whole, we welcome the assistance to help with the ongoing recovery efforts.”

In flooding earlier this year, grain bins busted spoiling the corn and beans stored inside. The USDA announcement says those stored-grain payments will be based on 75% of the crop's 2018 value if it was harvested last year.

Three of the hardest-hit counties in Iowa, lost 2.4 million bushels of grain during the floods according to Naig, valued at $10.9 million. In addition, 418 grain bins were destroyed or damaged, costing farmers $11.6 million.

Farmers can apply for assistance at farmers.gov/recover, signup begins Sept. 11.