(FDACS) — The registration deadline for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program and the Florida Irrigation Recovery Block Grant Program is Friday, November 20. Since the program launched in August, more than 1,500 registrations have been received and nearly $10 million in crop loss payments have been issued to agricultural producers and forest landowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018.
“I am incredibly proud of our partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and our Florida Forest Service employees for their immeasurable efforts to secure relief for producers and landowners,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. “Our commitment to these programs is delivering promise and hope as we work together to restore the timber industry in the Florida Panhandle.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the $380 million program is managed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Forest Service, who is providing technical assistance to forest landowners required to produce documentation to receive compensation for their loss.
To be eligible for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program (TRBG), a producer must:
- Be the owner of record or the lessee who has rights to the timber crop at the time of application of a minimum of 10 contiguous acres of nonindustrial private forest land located in one of the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington;
- Have stands of timber that sustained a minimum of 25 percent loss due to Hurricane Michael;
- To learn more and register for the TRBG, visit FloridaDisaster.org/timber.
To be eligible for the Florida Irrigation Recovery Block Grant Program (IRBG), a producer must:
- Be the owner of record of center pivot irrigation infrastructure at the time of application and document that the crop growing under the center pivot as of October 10, 2018, sustained a minimum 15 percent crop loss due to Hurricane Michael.
- To learn more and register for the IRBG, visit FloridaDisaster.org/irrigation.
Registration is the first step toward receiving block grant funds and should only take a few minutes to complete. The deadline to register for these programs is Friday, November 20, 2020.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.