The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a new online tool available as part of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP). Announced last week, the new ELAP Feed Transportation Producer Tool helps ranchers determine estimated payments as part of the program. Recent updates to ELAP now support assistance for feed transportation costs caused by drought. Additionally, the threshold for when assistance is available to cover expenses for hauling water has also been lowered through the update.
“Drought has had a tremendous impact on producers, and we are thinking outside the box to help producers mitigate the effects of drought, which is a necessary first step to realizing the Secretary’s vision of ensuring agricultural producers get a fair share of the food dollar,” USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a press release. “From climate change to COVID-19, we are continuously working to make our programs as flexible as possible and so they effectively help producers face today’s challenges.”
Ranchers will need the number of truckloads for the year, along with mileage per truckload in order to use the new tool. Other information needed is the normal number of truckloads that are hauled and the normal mileage per truckload. Ranchers will also need to know their share of feed costs for the year in instances where loads are split and will need to know the normal cost for feed. The ELAP Feed Transportation Producer Tool will require the use of Microsoft Excel and a tutorial is available online.
The online tool will calculate the estimated payment for feed transportation assistance but does not serve as an application. Ranchers can use the tool to generate estimated payments and make them part of their application submission. FSA will begin accepting applications for the program this Fall. The deadline to apply for ELAP for 2021, including payments for transportation costs, is January 31, 2022.