This year’s summer growing season is in full swing and Alaska producers are working hard to be successful, despite another year of early weird weather. I know you are all busy, but don’t forget that you can sign up for RTCP beginning July 21!
Alaska farmers make a big contribution to the economy, the health and the security of our communities. They provide jobs and healthy, local food for Alaskans. But our farmers face unique challenges. In addition to our northern climate, they experience high costs of fuel, equipment, materials, fertilizer and other inputs because of our location. The RTCP program helps level the playing field for our producers and provide more local food at competitive prices.
Alaskans Receive Payments for FY 2013 Transportation Costs
Last month, a diverse group of 166 Alaskan producers received a total of $265,000 to help offset the high cost of farming in Alaska by participating in FSA’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program for Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (RTCP). Farmers, ranchers and growers from all across the state — from Craig, to Bethel, to Kodiak and Manley Hot Springs — received payments ranging up to a maximum of $5,589. These farmers produced a wide range of livestock and crops, including hay, vegetables, oysters, dairy products, grain, and peonies.
Get Ready to Apply for This Year’s Transportation Reimbursement Program!
The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized RTCP, which offsets a portion of the costs of transporting agricultural inputs and products over long distances. The program allows farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and insular areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau, to recover any transportation costs.
I hope all Alaskan producers have been keeping track of their farm-related expenses over the past nine months. Costs associated with the production or transportation of an agricultural product may be eligible for partial reimbursement through RTCP. This year’s program will cover costs incurred from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014 (Fiscal Year 2014). Sign-up for Fiscal Year 2014 will begin on July 21, 2014, and end on Sept. 8, 2014. Although applicants must file their RTCP application in an FSA office by Sept. 8, 2014, producers will have until Nov. 3, 2014 to provide supporting documentation of actual transportation costs to the FSA office.
For more information on the RTCP program, farmers and ranchers in the eligible areas can contact the Northern FSA Service Center at (907) 895-4242 ext. 100, or the Southern FSA Service Center at (907) 761-7754 for further assistance or the Alaska website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ak
State Executive Director