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Details of Sheep Loss Program Released

Details of Sheep Loss Program Released

Assistance available to producers who lost livestock to weather.

The long-awaited details of the first livestock indemnity program to assist sheep producers who have had death losses in excess of the normal mortality due to adverse weather have been released and went into effect Monday (July 13).

Specific requirements for the USDA program were announced in the Federal Register. The program provides disaster assistance for producers with livestock losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather such as hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. Losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct.1, 2011.

"LIP is the first of the five permanent FSA administered supplemental agricultural disaster assistance programs that will be made available through the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund.

Orwick adds, "The winters of 2008 and 2009 were unfortunately killer seasons on sheep ranches from Texas through to the Dakotas with huge losses of breeding sheep as well as on the lambing grounds. The LIP payments will be extremely important to sheep producers as they re-stock."

Producers who have suffered a potentially eligible loss of livestock prior to July 13, 2009, must provide a notice of loss to the FSA office by Sept. 13, 2009.

The 2008 Farm Bill provisions require LIP payments to be made at a rate of 75 percent of the market value of the livestock on the day before the date of the death of the livestock. Payment eligibility will be based on actual losses in excess of normal mortality for the calendar year for the loss. Producers can receive up to $100,000 through disaster assistance programs.

FSA, through the state FSA offices, will establish the normal mortality rate for sheep on a state-by-state basis. Payments are only available for losses beyond normal mortality over the course of the year. ASI has worked with USDA since April to expand the livestock market reports for values on breeding sheep and young lambs which will be crucial to fair payments under LIP. 

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