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Document flood damage ASAP

Here are some resources if you’ve lost your crop because of flooding.

Chris Torres

September 3, 2021

1 Min Read
flooded farm and crop field
DOCUMENT DAMAGE: Ida’s rains have flooded many farm fields in the Northeast. If you have damage, document it with photos, contact your crop insurance company and let your local FSA office know about it. Ed Bock/Getty Images

It’s been a horrendous couple of days for some parts of the region.

The ground was already saturated before the remnants of Hurricane Ida pushed through, dumping up to 10 inches of rain in some areas, especially Pennsylvania.

If your fields have been flooded and you expect to lose some crops, the first thing to do is document the damage and contact your crop insurance agent, says Dan Smeal, administrative officer at the Pennsylvania office of the Farm Service Agency. Here are some additional tips he has for producers who might be dealing with flood damage:

  • Document damage with dated photographs, videos and third-party verification.

  • Report to a local USDA Service Center as soon as possible so the need for assistance can be evaluated. Producers can find their local county offices by visiting

  • The county FSA office will provide guidance on the Emergency Conservation Program application process. If the disaster conditions warrant ECP implementation, a sign-up period will be announced to explain the application process and next steps. 

When authorized and implemented, ECP can provide cost-share assistance — up to 75% cost-share — to eligible producers with debris removal, grading or shaping land, restoring fence, and restoring other conservation structures damaged by a disaster such as floodwaters.

Find out more about the Emergency Conservation Program online.

The Farm Progress flood resources page set up to help producers devastated by the 2019 Midwest floods also has some resources that might be helpful. 

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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