USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Jonathan Coppess issued a reminder last week to livestock producers in Missouri and throughout the Midwest and Plains states that FSA programs may be available to assist them. Many are dealing with harsh winter weather, which is causing serious harm to livestock and forage due to heavy snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures.
"This is turning out to be a tough winter for many ranchers and farmers in the nation's heartland, and learning about our FSA programs is an important step for producers to take," Coppess said. "We need producers to document the number and kind of livestock that have died as a direct result of these winter storms and timely notify their local FSA office of these losses. There may be situations where producers are transporting feed to their livestock. Producers should document these additional costs."
FSA administers several programs that help producers recover from livestock deaths that are beyond normal mortality rates, losses of purchased and/or harvested forage, and with the additional costs of providing or transporting feed. Among the key programs are the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program. For livestock death losses to be eligible under LIP, producers must file a notice of loss with their local FSA office within 30 calendar days from when the loss is apparent to the producer.
Fact sheets for these two programs can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov; click on Newsroom, then Fact Sheets.
Livestock producers are also encouraged to use Hay Net on the FSA website (www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet), an online service that allows producers with hay and those who need hay to post ads so they can make connections. Individual ads can be posted free of charge by producers who complete a simple online registration form the first time they use the site.