The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds ranchers and livestock producers that they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for 2021 grazing losses due to a qualifying drought or fire. The deadline to apply for 2021 LFP assistance is Jan. 31, 2022.
“Ongoing, widespread drought conditions have resulted in significant financial losses for agricultural producers, causing stress across rural America,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator. “I want to emphasize that the FSA is here to help offset these economic hardships and help producers rebuild with resilience. I’d like to encourage producers who suffered 2021 grazing losses to file their LFP applications as soon as possible to expedite payments. Timely filing is doubly important this year, as information gathered may be used to deliver upcoming disaster assistance.”
For the 2021 program year, 901 counties in 26 states and territories have met drought severity levels that trigger LFP eligibility. More than $473.1 million has been paid, to date, to livestock producers eligible for 2021 LFP. For LFP, qualifying drought triggers are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor. Visit the FSA LFP webpage for a list of eligible counties and grazing crops.
LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers and contract growers who also produce forage crops for grazing and suffered losses due to a qualifying drought or fire during the normal grazing period for the county. 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.
To expedite the application process, producers are encouraged to gather and submit records documenting 2021 losses. Supporting documents may include information related to grazing leases, contract grower agreements, and more.
LFP is part of a broader suite of disaster assistance available through USDA.
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), which also has a Jan. 31, 2022, deadline, provides eligible producers with compensation for certain feed losses not covered by LFP as well as assistance with transporting water to livestock and feed transportation expenses.
Additional disaster assistance information can be found on farmers.gov, including the Farmers.gov Drought Webpage, Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool.
For FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, including LFP and ELAP, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Due to the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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