Loss assistance available for livestock producers affected by wildfires

Loss assistance available for livestock producers affected by wildfires   

06 October 2011

published by www.news-journal.com

USA — Producers in Wood County who have suffered feed losses due to wildfires incidents that occurred after April 5, 2011 and before September 30, 2011, could be eligible for payment under the 2011 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), according to Nancy Birkenfeld, executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

“Devastating wildfires have adversely impacted many livestock operations throughout the state, which leaves producers with increased feed expenses,” said Birkenfeld. “ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires,” she said.

In order to meet ELAP eligibility requirements producers must have a 2011 insurance policy equal to at least the catastrophic level of coverage or have Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for each crop planted on the farm, excluding grazing acreages. Farmers and ranchers who meet the definition of a socially disadvantaged, limited resource or beginning farmer or rancher do not have to meet this requirement.

A qualifying loss under ELAP includes the loss of purchased forage or feedstuffs or the loss of mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs. Producers who incur additional costs for providing or transporting feed to eligible livestock because of wildfire are also eligible. Producers who purchase additional feed, above normal quantities, in order to maintain eligible livestock during wildfires, until additional feed becomes available are also eligible for ELAP benefits.

Producers with a qualifying loss must provide the Wood-Rains County FSA office with the total number of livestock, number of acres in their operation, number of acres burned and receipts for purchased feed that was destroyed in the wildfire.

ELAP assistance is for losses not covered under other disaster assistance programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill. Legislative authority for ELAP expires on September 30, 2011.

Producers who suffered a qualifying loss must file a notice of loss and application within 30 days of when the loss is apparent, but no later than October 31, 2011. For more information regarding ELAP, please contact the Wood-Rains County FSA Office at 903-763-2348 Ext 2.

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