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New farm bill includes disaster assistance for livestock producers

—By Kathleen M. Dutro
Public Relations Team

Among the changes made to the federal farm program by the 2014 farm bill are two programs of particular interest to livestock and forage producers: the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and Livestock Indemnity Payments.

The 2014 bill makes both programs permanent, and it provides retroactive authority to cover eligible livestock losses back to Oct. 1, 2011. Sign-up begins on or before April 15, 2014, at any local Farm Service Agency service center.

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (or LFP) provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought. LFP payments for drought are equal to 60 percent of the monthly feed cost for up to five months. The grazing losses must have occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011.

Additional details on the types of information required for an application will be provided as part of the sign-up announcement. An eligible livestock producer is one who owns or leases grazing land or pastureland physically located in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having experienced a sufficient degree of drought. The length of the drought period that qualifies a producer for assistance varies depending on the severity of the drought from D2 through D4. Consult your local FSA office or the drought monitor website for details.

For example, at least 78 Indiana counties qualify for some forage assistance due to the drought of 2012, according to the website. Others could qualify for other periods.

Counties eligible for LFP assistance can be found at fsa.usda.gov fsa.usda.gov.

The Livestock Indemnity Payments (or LIP) program provides covers eligible livestock losses back to Oct. 1, 2011. LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators. LIP payments are equal to 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock as determined by the secretary.

Sign-up will begin on or before April 15, 2014, at any FSA service center. Additional details on the types of information required for an application will be provided as part of the sign-up announcement. Eligible livestock include beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses and other livestock as determined by the secretary of agriculture.

For information on the required documentation, talk to your local FSA office or visit the FSA website, fsa.usda.gov.

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