Farm equipment may be used to produce a variety of products, ranging from fish and livestock to honeybees.
However, some of the producers of those products suffered losses tied to disasters in 2008, which is why the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it is making assistance available. More than $10 million will be distributed through its Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program.
Of that, $6 million is for beekeepers who suffered losses tied to a mysterious phenomenon that has affected colonies since at least October 2006.
"The assistance announced today will be particularly helpful to beekeepers whose bees suffered from Colony Collapse Disorder and will also assist other producers facing economic challenges," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
According to the USDA's Agriculture Research Service, the exact cause of CCD is unknown and has led to hive-population losses of between 30 and 90 percent. Research is currently underway to determine the reasons for the bee population problems and attempts at developing solutions are also being pursued.
Producers who are interested in inquiring in the assistance programs can visit ww.fsa.usda.gov or contact their local Farm Service Agency office.