New farm bill provides permanent livestock disaster assistance

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The 2014 Farm Bill, formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, makes the Livestock Forage Program and Livestock Indemnity Program permanent and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011.

The forage program provides compensation to eligible producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought and fire. The indemnity program provides compensation to livestock producers who 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.

USDA is determined to make implementing the livestock disaster programs a top priority and plans to open program enrollment by April 15.

As USDA begins implementing the livestock disaster assistance programs, producers should record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:

• Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses.

• Dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts.

• Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures.

• Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed.

• Crop records, including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records.

• Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters.

• Evidence of damaged farm land.

Many producers still have questions. USDA is in the process of interpreting Farm Bill program regulations. Additional information will be provided once the enrollment period is announced.