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Rep. Cindy Axne, Secretary Tom Vilsack visit Iowa farm impacted by derecho

The goal of the trip was to highlight federal funds available to farmers through the Emergency Relief Program.

MINBURN, Iowa — If you've lost crops due to severe weather in Iowa, you might qualify for federal money to cover those losses. 

Chris Nelson, a farmer in Minburn, Iowa, said that back in August of 2020, his family lost a significant amount of their cornfields due to the derecho

On Wednesday, Nelson and his family met with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Congresswoman Cindy Axne to highlight federal funds available to farmers through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP). 

The ERP, as well as the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP), are funded by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act. 

The legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2021. 

Right now, these funds are available to farmers whose crops suffered damage due to natural disasters. 

Secretary Vilsack says so far, Iowa farmers have taken advantage of the roughly 10 billion available in federal funding.

"The good news is that over 120,000 farmers nationwide have received over $4 billion already under this program," Vilsack said. "Of that amount, $270 million has come to Iowa farmers." 

Currently, this funding is only available to farmers who had crop insurance. However, Secretary Vilsack says later in the summer, eligibility will open up to farmers who did not have crop insurance, as well as those who didn't suffer a significant loss.

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