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Rounds, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Provide Fairer Market Prices for Livestock Disaster Assistance Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to offer producers fairer market prices for livestock disaster assistance programs. The LIP Payment Improvement Act would require the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to make quarterly updates to Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) payment rates that reflect livestock market prices.

The LIP provides payments to eligible livestock owners and contract growers for abnormal livestock deaths caused by an eligible loss condition, such as severe weather, disease or animal attack. Currently, the FSA is required to update LIP payment rates annually. While the agency occasionally provides periodic price updates, the LIP Improvement Program would make these updates more frequently to reflect an ever-changing market.

“South Dakota farmers and ranchers work hard to produce quality livestock,” said Rounds. “Unfortunately, extenuating circumstances such as severe weather or disease can deplete their herds and as such, hurt their operations. These producers deserve to be paid a fair and updated market price for their livestock when tragedy strikes.”

“Ranchers often make large financial investments in their livestock and sometimes face heavy losses due to natural disasters and other circumstances beyond their control,” said Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure ranchers have a safety net that more accurately reflects the market value of any lost livestock.”

The LIP Payment Improvement Act is supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the South Dakota Farmers Union.

“Natural disasters take a heavy toll on cattle producers, especially when severe weather leads to livestock losses,” said Allison Rivera, Executive Director of Government Affairs at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Many producers rely on the Livestock Indemnity Program for support during these challenging times, but the program needs to be updated in a timely manner so that cattle producers are reimbursed for the full value of their lost cattle. Our members appreciate Senator Rounds introducing the Livestock Indemnity Payment Improvement Act of 2023 to correct this issue and ensure that cattle producers are compensated at the fair market value of their livestock.”

“South Dakota Farmers Union applauds Senator Rounds and Senator Klobuchar for working to update the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) from an annual payment rate to a quarterly payment rate,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. “With climate change plaguing many parts of the country, our emergency relief programs must adapt accordingly. Given these circumstances, it has become clear that an annual payment rate is not a reflective measure of the true market value for livestock. This change will provide flexibility to help farmers and ranchers due to climate-related impacts.”

Click HERE for full bill text.

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