Posted February 19, 2014
USDA announced it will expedite the implementation of its livestock disaster assistance program and will begin accepting applications on April 14, according to an Agri-Pulse article available here.
The $100 million program is part of the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program was reauthorized in 2008, but the program and its funding expired in October 2011, leaving producers without payment for losses in over two years.
The program will allow livestock producers to receive indemnities for losses sustained in 2012 and 2013. This is particularly welcome news for agricultural producers in California suffering through drought and producers in the Dakotas, who were hit by a devastating winter storm last October.
“This is good news for the livestock producers who suffered back to back grazing and livestock death losses in 2012 and 2013,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD).
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) also applauded USDA’s decision, saying, “By cutting through some red tape we were able to expedite this support so our ranchers have access to the disaster relief we fought so hard to include in the Farm Bill.”
USDA’s Farm Service Agency will disburse payments to producers on a rolling basis, “until the backlog of claims is processed.”
For more information on disaster assistance programs, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.