Area livestock producers suffering losses of animals or feed due to this winter’s storms may be eligible for the USDA’s livestock indemnity  and feed loss assistance programs, according to Lissa Biehn, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director in Wasco/Hood River counties.

“The programs provide producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the financial impact of extreme or abnormal weather,” explained Biehn.

“The winter storms have really had a significant impact on some livestock producers and we encourage them to reach out to our office.”

Between the two programs, loss of both livestock and feed are covered.

Physically damaged or destroyed livestock feed that was purchased or mechanically harvested and baled and intended for use as feed for the producer’s eligible livestock is counted as eligible, as are livestock owners and contract growers with livestock losses in excess of normal mortality due to an adverse weather events.

The payment rate is based on 75 percent of average fair market value.

For either program, a livestock producer must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent and an application for payment by March 1, 2020.

Congress eliminated the maximum payment limitation of $125,000 per year and added compensation in the event that livestock are injured by an eligible loss condition and are sold for a reduced price in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Livestock producers must provide evidence that the loss was due to an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition. Producers should bring supporting evidence, including documentation of the number and kind of livestock that died, photographs or video records to document the loss, purchase records, veterinarian records, production records and similar documents.

Producers may apply for LIP and ELAP benefits at their local FSA office: Contact the Wasco/Hood River County FSA office at 541-298-8559 ext. 2 or visit FSA online at www.farmers.gov/recover.

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