CHRISTMAS TREES NOW ELIGIBLE FOR TAP HELP
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Christmas tree producers in certain counties of Alabama may be eligible for assistance under USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) 2005 Hurricanes Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
Christmas trees were previously excluded from the program because they did not meet the requirement of being a tree that produces an annual crop. However, the FSA opened signup Jan. 31 to Christmas tree growers as well as nursery and fruit tree producers. The deadline will be March 16 or 15 days after publication in the Federal Register, whichever is later.
Work by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Southern Christmas Tree Association and other groups helped get their farms included.
"We appreciate Congressman Jo Bonner's leadership and Danny Crawford, state executive director of the FSA, in helping to address the concerns of nursery and Christmas tree growers," said Brian Hardin, director of the Federation's Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod Division. "The inclusion of these growers for the TAP program will help recover losses associated with hurricanes and other disasters. It offers help that they haven't had in the past."
Counties included are: Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Butler, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Colbert, Conecuh, Covington, Cullman, Dallas, Escambia, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Perry, Pickens, St. Clair, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox and Winston.
To be eligible, Alabama producers must have received damage from Hurricane Katrina, Ophelia, Rita or Wilma between Aug. 29 and Oct. 28, 2005. For complete eligibility requirements, contact your local FSA office, visit www.fsa.usda.gov or download the information below.
Download TAP Eligibility Guidelines Here