Starting today, agricultural producers who have lost livestock to disease, resulting from a weather disaster, have an additional way to become eligible for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance program. USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced an administrative clarification nationwide to the Livestock Indemnity Program. In the event of disease, this change by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) authorizes local FSA county committees to accept veterinarian certifications that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management. The committees may then use this certification to allow eligibility for producers on a case-by-case basis for LIP.
“This change is part of USDA’s broader effort to better serve America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters through flexible and effective programs,” said Northey, who is in Texas today visiting with ranchers impacted by drought and wildfire. “America’s farmers feed our nation and much of the world, and throughout history they have known good years and bad years. But when disaster strikes, USDA is ready to step in and help.”
LIP provides benefits to agricultural producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease or by attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government. Eligible weather events include earthquakes, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, blizzard and flooding.
Producers interested in LIP or other USDA disaster assistance programs should contact their local USDA service center.