By Justin Lofton
ADA — United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has initiated Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) to compensate local livestock producers for grazing losses during the ongoing drought.
FSA employee Monica White said the program is funded through the 2008 Farm Bill and is available to farmers and ranchers.
“There are provisions under which the drought must qualify in order for the producers to be eligible for assistance,” said a press release from FSA. Qualifying drought rates may be found at www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html.
To qualify for the program, producers must have applied for and obtained crop insurance or Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance (NAP) coverage on grazing land which suffered an eligible loss. The producer must also “be an owner, cash or share lessee or contract grower of covered livestock that provides pastureland or grazing land for the livestock,” and “provide pastureland or grazing land that is physically located in a county affected by drought or fire on federally managed land,” the release said.
Livestock eligible for the program include beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine.
White said this year only, farmers and ranchers who meet the definition of Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource or Beginning Farmer or Rancher do not have to meet the crop insurance requirement.
“(Farmers and ranchers) come in and report the number of livestock that they had on feed during a 60-day qualifying period,” White said. She said the qualifying period is different for each county.
Payment for the livestock depends on the number of cattle, weight of cattle and various grazing issues on the land.
White said FSA in most counties is seeing farmers and ranchers by appointment only.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact FSA at (580) 332-3070.