The details of the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) were announced in the Federal Register today. The 2008 Farm Bill created several new disaster programs under the Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance Program and LFP reimburses producers for losses due to drought and lack of forage. Sheep are a covered livestock for this program.
The LFP program provides financial assistance to producers who suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. Fire losses must have occurred on federally managed lands.
Due to the timing of the implementation of this rule and the losses to which it will apply, producers who had a potentially eligible loss in calendar year 2008 will have 90 calendar days after this rule is published to provide the required documents to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office.
Unlike previous disaster programs where the secretary or president had to make a disaster declaration before producers could receive payments, the 2008 Farm Bill specified the U.S. Drought Monitor as one of the eligibility triggers for LFP. Producers are eligible for LFP if they are located in a county designated by severe, extreme or exceptional drought. The drought must occur during the normal grazing period for the specific type of grazing land.
Reduced payments are available for producers who sold or otherwise disposed of covered livestock due to qualifying drought in one or both of the two production years immediately preceding the current production year.
Producers are eligible for up to three monthly payments for grazing losses due to qualifying drought, depending on the intensity and duration of the drought.
Also included in this Federal Register is the announcement of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). For additional information on these programs, contact your local FSA office or go to the register at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-21906.htm.