February 27, 2014
Drought relief for ranchers through USDA has been expedited, with the sign-up for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) beginning as soon as April 14, according to an article by Farm Futures available here.
The Agriculture Act of 2014 livestock disaster assistance program includes a “livestock indemnity program (LIP) for livestock losses from adverse weather or attacks by federally reintroduced animals; a livestock forage program (LFP) for losses resulting from drought or fire; a program of emergency relief to producers of livestock, honey bees and farm raised fish not covered by the two previous programs (ELAP); and a tree assistance program for natural disasters.”
The disaster assistance programs will allow relief from losses to be retroactive to 2011 and will cover 75 percent of the value of animals lost with a limit of $125,000.
Other drought relief programs are also available.  Funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is available to California and other drought-affected areas to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices.  The Emergency Watershed Program (EWP) will provide assistance to most drought affected areas of California to help address watershed impairments.
Funds are also available through USDA- Rural Development’s Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants for rural communities that are experiencing a significant decline in the quality or quantity of drinking water due to drought.
In addition, California Lawmakers recently announced new legislation that would provide $687.4 million to help communities deal with drought and increase local water supplies, according to an article by the Environmental New Wire available here.


For more information on disaster assistance programs, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.