The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites farmers and ranchers to sign up for disaster assistance programs, re-established and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning today.
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Enrollment also begins today for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality because of adverse weather. Eligible livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses and other livestock as determined by the secretary. LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses because of drought or fire on publicly managed land.
An eligible livestock producer must own, cash lease or be a contract grower of eligible livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of the qualifying drought or fire in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as D2, D3 or D4.
ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish who have losses because of disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.
TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs.
Information about the types of records necessary can be provided by local Farm Service Agency county offices. Producers are encouraged to contact their county office to schedule an appointment.