Reminder: Livestock Indemnity Program Covers Losses Due to Extreme Heat

As a reminder, Nebraska’s Farm Service Agency provides assistance via the LIvestock Indemnity Program Fact Sheet to livestock producers who incur higher than normal mortality due to adverse weather events, including extreme heat.

The criteria for extreme heat for Nebraska requires a minimum of two consecutive days where the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) has reached an index score of 79 for at least one hour each day. The THI score indicates a “danger” level where death loss could be expected even with appropriate management actions and decisions.  (Information on the Temperature Humidity Index can be found here.)

Applicants must first file a notice of loss with FSA, the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock was apparent or 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the loss of livestock occurred. Livestock that dies within 60 days of the qualifying event may be considered eligible for loss benefits.

After filing a notice of loss, producers can file an application for payment. The application for payment must be filed no later than 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the loss of the livestock occurred. Supporting documentation is required for both normal mortality and adverse weather losses.  More information about the type of supporting documentation is provided here by the Nebraska FSA.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us or your local FSA service center.

Livestock Disaster Assistance Deadline Approaching

If you are a livestock producer who wants to request assistance for losses suffered from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014, the deadline to apply for assistance is fast approaching.  The deadline to apply is January 30, 2015.

Assistance is available via two programs: the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.

The Livestock Indemnity Program provides financial assistance to eligible producers for livestock deaths due to adverse weather, extreme temperatures, disease, wildfires, or attacks by animals re-introduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators.

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program provides financial compensation to livestock producers that suffered grazing loss due to drought or fire.  Qualifying droughts are based upon the U.S. Drought Monitor severity ratings and qualifying fires are those on rangeland managed by a federal agency and normally permitted for grazing.

Contact your local FSA office for more information on whether you potentially qualify, the types of records required to document losses, and any other questions you may have.

Farmer and Rancher Disaster Assistance Program Sign-Ups Announced

As of Tuesday, April 15, 2014, farmers and ranchers may sign-up for disaster assistance programs that received funding under the 2014 Farm Bill.

The following disaster assistance programs are taking sign-ups:

Livestock Indemnity Program (“LIP”) and Livestock Forage Disaster Program (“LFP”) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.

LIP provides payments to eligible producers who suffered livestock death in excess of normal mortality due to weather (see: South Dakota blizzard).  Eligible livestock include beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses, and other livestock as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.  Remember that documentation of livestock death is required.  The documentation can include photographs and video of the livestock loss (dated if possible); purchase records, veterinarian records, production records, or bank or other loan documents; and/or Written contracts, records assembled for tax purposes, private insurance documents, and other similar reliable documents.

LFP provides payments to eligible producers grazing losses due to drought or fire.  Payments for drought are equal to 60 percent of the monthly feed cost for up to five months.  Payments for drought are based upon the severity of drought as rated by the United States Drought Monitor.  You can see if your county is eligible here. Payments for fire on federally managed rangeland are equal to 50 percent of the monthly feed cost for the number of days the producer is prohibited from grazing the managed rangeland, not to exceed 180 calendar days. The grazing losses must have occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011.

Funding is also available under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (“ELAP”).  ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

If any of these disaster assistance programs may work for you, call your local FSA office.  The first step to any potential payment is determining eligibility and signing up for the program.