End Rows for April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Disaster programs

The following four disaster programs authorized by the 2008 farm bill have been extended indefinitely, beyond the horizon of the 2014 farm bill:

-- Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) -- provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought; LFP payments for drought are equal to 60 percent of the monthly feed cost for up to five months, depending upon the severity of the drought.

-- Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) -- provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather or by attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the Federal Government; LIP payments are equal to 75 percent of the average fair market value of the livestock. Eligible livestock include beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, and horses.

-- Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) -- provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by LFP and LIP. Total payments are capped at $20 million in a fiscal year.

-- Tree Assistance Program (TAP) -- provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines damaged by natural disasters. Eligible trees, bushes and vines are those from which an annual crop is produced for commercial purposes; nursery trees include ornamental, fruit, nut and Christmas trees for commercial sale; trees used for pulp or timber are ineligible.

Sign-up for these programs begins April 15. Before applying for any of these programs, it is recommend you gather all the records you can pertaining to your losses. These include:

-- Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photos or video records of ownership and losses.

-- Dates of deaths supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts.

-- Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures.

-- Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed.

-- Crop recordings, including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records.

-- Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters.

-- Evidence of damaged farm land.

The programs are made retroactive to Oct. 1, 2011.

Producers are no longer required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage to be eligible for these programs (the risk management purchase requirement) as mandated by the 2008 farm bill.

It is recommend calling an FSA office for an appointment to cut down on your wait time.

Continue monitoring condition of farm-stored grain

The fluctuating temperatures can cause your farm-stored grain to go out of condition. If your stored grain is collateral for commodity loans, you are responsible for maintaining the condition of the collateral.

Contact the FSA office carrying your loan before moving the grain to avoid an unauthorized disposition violation.