LAP Sign-up Announced
March 18, 2005
Late last week, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced that eligible producers may sign up at their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center for the Livestock Assistance Program (LAP). The LAP is a grazing lost program that will provide direct payments to eligible livestock producers in approved counties for grazing losses on a per head basis of qualifying livestock, which includes sheep and goats.
To be eligible for the program, a producer's grazing land must be located in a county that was declared a primary disaster area in either 2003 or 2004. Each county must also meet additional LAP eligibility requirements that include the county having suffered at least a 40-percent grazing loss for three consecutive months during either year. Contiguous counties are not eligible.
The 2005 program states that producers who reduced their number of livestock because of a natural disaster will not be penalized for those reductions. Benefits will be based on the number of livestock the producer would have owned if the disaster had not occurred.
Producers that qualify for the program in both 2003 and 2004 will be required to choose just one year in which to base their payment. The program specifies a maximum $40,000 payment per person, with a gross revenue limit of $2.5 million.
"Producers have anticipated the start of the sign-up for this program since the congressional authorization last fall to assist with losses experienced during the last two grazing seasons," stated Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association. "The sign-up period for livestock assistance began on March 14; the deadline has not yet been announced."
A map of approved counties as well as additional details on the program can be found at: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33