Disaster Payments Begin
May 2, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency started accepting applications for disaster relief programs restored by the 2014 Farm Bill on April 15. These disaster programs will not replace all of the losses farmers and ranchers faced, but it will provide some relief and help recover from extreme weather.

According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, "after just one week, I am pleased to say that we've received more than 10,000 applications for these programs. Approximately 95 percent of the applications were for the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), which provides payments to eligible producers for grazing losses. The high number of applicants is no surprise considering the widespread, ongoing drought that has plagued livestock producers in the West Coast and Midwestern portions of the United States for nearly three consecutive years.

"Our livestock producers have waited long enough and we understand the urgent need to provide payments in a timely manner. While the time for application processing and review will vary depending on the complexity and type of loss, the electronic payment and application systems are up and running. Since sign up began last week, we have processed nearly 60 percent of incoming applications and approved payments to help nearly 6,000 producers begin the recovery process.

"The program is off to an excellent start and FSA will provide monthly updates at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov, including data by state, number of applications, and payments issued."