USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Wisconsin State Executive Director, Sandy Chalmers, would like to reminds farmers and ranchers across the state of federal farm program benefits that may be available to help eligible producers recover from recent heavy rains and flooding.
“FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist producers with their recovery efforts,” said Chalmers. “Many of these programs require documentation of losses, so I encourage producers to keep records of their livestock, crop, feed and structural losses.”
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an eligible adverse weather event, including losses due to floods.
Verifiable documentation of livestock losses must be provided, including:
- Documentation of the number, kind, type, and weight range of livestock that have died, supplemented by, if possible, photographs or video records of ownership and losses;
- Rendering truck receipts by kind, type and weight – important to document prior to disposal;
- Beginning inventory supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts;
- Documentation from Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Natural Resources, or other sources to substantiate eligible death losses due to an eligible loss condition;
- Veterinarian certification that livestock deaths, due to disease, were directly related to the adverse weather and unpreventable through good husbandry and management.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. ELAP covers physically damaged or destroyed livestock feed that was purchased, mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs intended for use as feed for the producer’s eligible livestock.
Chalmers said ELAP will also cover up to 150 lost grazing days in instances when a producer has been forced to remove livestock from a grazing pasture due to floodwaters.
To support their ELAP application, producers should document the following pertinent information:
- Documentation that livestock were removed from grazing pastures due to an eligible adverse weather or loss condition;
- Costs of transporting livestock feed to eligible livestock, such as receipts for equipment rental fees for hay lifts;
- Feed purchase receipts if feed supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed.
FSA’s emergency loan program will be available if a county is declared by the President or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a primary disaster. A disaster designation by the FSA Administrator authorizes emergency loan assistance for physical losses only. Additionally, the Emergency Conservation Program provides funding to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters, including fence loss. As producers assess property damage, they should document any physical structural losses or farm damage.
Producers should contact their local FSA office at to schedule an appointment to submit notices of loss or to discuss disaster assistance programs. To find a USDA Service Center or to learn more about available disaster programs, visit www.farmers.gov/recover.