Livestock Producers Impacted by Drought or Wildfire Receive Payments

Brian GermanDairy & Livestock, Industry

Livestock Producers

Payments to livestock producers impacted by drought or wildfire are being sent out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The assistance is being provided to ranchers with approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux told AgNet Media’s Randall Weiseman that the new Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) was developed as a means to better help producers stay viable. Ducheneaux explained that they were able to get payments sent out.

“Those dollars started to flow within just a few days of the announcement. Because of the way we’ve done this program, using existing data to get assistance to the producers so that they really didn’t have to do a thing,” said Ducheneaux. “If they had their direct deposit on file, in most cases, within a week after the program was announced the money hit their account.”

LFP will provide up to five months of feed assistance in times of drought, which is triggered by the drought monitor and indexed to previous years’ corn prices. Because of the ongoing supply chain challenges, issues with COVID, and continuing drought conditions, Ducheneaux said the program did not go far enough in providing much-needed assistance. The ELRP adds to the assistance provided by LFP to better address the ongoing struggles livestock producers are dealing with. “Now, if producers didn’t participate in LFD, or if their county didn’t trigger, we’re still building Phase 2 of this program so that we can make sure that we are serving everybody who was adversely impacted by those circumstances that were authorized in that act last year at the continuing resolution,” said Ducheneaux.

FSA is also offering additional relief through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to help ranchers cover above normal costs of hauling livestock to forage. “We have a lot of processes in place to help ensure that producers get assistance. So definitely check in with your county office,” Ducheneaux noted.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West