USDA offers disaster assistance to Freeborn County livestock producers impacted by drought

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2021

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Freeborn County announced Monday that ranchers and livestock producers can apply for assistance from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for grazing losses incurred in 2021.

“Drought conditions in Freeborn County have triggered availability of the Livestock Forage Disaster Program,” said county executive director, Lee Crawford, in a news release. “LFP provides compensation to livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought. We encourage producers to contact our office for an appointment and to learn what records they need to have on hand in order to apply for assistance.”

Crawford said the program covers full season improved pasture, warm season improved pasture, cool season improved pasture, native pasture, forage sorghum, short season small grains, long season small grains, annual crabgrass and annual ryegrass. For losses due to drought, an eligible livestock producer must own or lease grazing land or pastureland physically located in a county meeting drought intensity criteria rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor. A map of eligible counties for LFP drought may be found on the FSA website.

Eligible livestock include alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo/bison, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer or sheep that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland during the normal grazing period.

Producers must provide a completed application and supporting documents to their FSA office within 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the grazing loss occurred. Applicants should collect records documenting their losses and evidence that the grazing land or pastureland is owned or leased. Additional supporting documents include federal grazing permits and contract grower agreements. Livestock producers must complete the LFP application and required supporting documentation no later than Jan. 31, 2022, for losses that occurred throughout 2021.

For more information, contact the Freeborn County FSA office at 507-373-7960 or visit farmers.gov/recover.