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USDA Announces The Start of Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs

Two newly announced permanent disaster programs for livestock are authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

November 13, 2009

3 Min Read

FAQ: Can you explain the new USDA disaster assistance programs for livestock? What types of livestock are included?

Answer: Provided by John Whitaker, state executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Iowa.

Producers may begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the USDA's Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish program (ELAP) and another new program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).

These permanent disaster programs, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, replace previous adhoc disaster assistance programs and are funded through the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund.

Provisions for Livestock Forage Disaster Program

The LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire.

For drought, the losses must have occurred on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or a crop planted specifically for grazing for covered livestock due to a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the specific type of grazing land in the county.

For fire, the LFP provides payments to eligible livestock payments to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses on rangeland managed by a federal agency if the eligible livestock producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing the normal permitted livestock on the managed rangeland due to a qualifying fire.

Eligible livestock under the LFP include beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, Lamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine.

Provisions for ELAP Emergency Assistance Program

The 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, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires.

ELAP assistance is for losses not covered under other USDA Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill – specifically the LFP, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE).

The ELAP is being implemented to fill in the gap and provide assistance under other conditions determined to be appropriate. For both programs -- LFP and ELAP -- producers must have suffered losses that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008 and before Oct. 1, 2011.

How do payment limits apply to these programs?

There is a total $100,000 limitation per crop year that applies to payments received under ELAP, LFP, LIP or SURE. For the 2008 crop year, the $100,000 limitation is per "person" as defined and determined under payment limitation rules in effect for 2008.

For crop years 2009 through 2011, the $100,000 limitation applies to payments received, both directly and indirectly, by a person or legal entity. Furthermore, individuals or entities are ineligible for payment under ELAP or LFP for 2008 if their average adjusted gross income for 2005 2006 and 2007 exceeds $2.5 million.

For 2009 through 2011, an average adjusted gross nonfarm income limitation of $500,000 applies and is determined using the three taxable years that precede the most immediately preceding complete taxable years that precede the most immediately preceding complete taxable year (for 2009, the applicable years are 2005, 2006 and 2007).

For more information or to apply for ELAP or LFP and other USDA Farm Service Agency disaster assistance programs, visit your FSA county office or go online to www.fsa.usda.gov.

If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. You can also get news and information about DCP, ACRE and other USDA programs at www.fsa.usda.gov.

Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.

And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at www.WallacesFarmer.com

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