FSA programs explained: Extreme heat and livestock losses | TSLN.com

FSA programs explained: Extreme heat and livestock losses

For the July 23, 2011 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

The South Dakota State Executive Director has released a news release regarding the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). The news release reads as follows:

“Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Craig Schaunaman reminds producers who have lost livestock due to excessive heat that the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides financial assistance in regard to livestock deaths as a direct result of adverse weather conditions.

“The hot humid conditions that are widespread across South Dakota may be good for the development of crops; however, have proven to be detrimental for livestock producers,” said Schaunaman. “Producers need to document the number and kind of livestock that have died as a result of the excessive heat and timely notify their local FSA office of these losses.”

For livestock death losses to be eligible under LIP, producers must file a notice of loss with their local FSA office within 30 calendar days from the date the loss is apparent to the producer.

Information pertaining to LIP or other programs administered by FSA can be found online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.”

I believe that Schaunaman makes a great point that excessive heat is an eligible cause of loss when filing for losses under the LIP program. However, I would like to expand on a few items that livestock producers should keep in mind if they intend on applying for benefits under LIP.

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When applying for compensation for livestock losses under LIP, the Farm Service Agency requires some type of transaction between two parties that verifies the death of the livestock claimed on the application, such as a rending truck receipt. This requirement can be difficult to obtain. Therefore, producers have another option available in order to prove livestock losses.

Livestock producers may provide their own personal livestock records in conjunction with a verifiable beginning and ending inventories. This means that producers may document their livestock losses and provide those records along with documentation that supports their livestock inventory, such as loan documents, purchase receipts or sales records.

Additionally, livestock producers should document all livestock losses and not just livestock losses incurred due to adverse weather. The Livestock Indemnity Program compensates livestock producers for losses suffered as a result of adverse weather conditions in excess of normal mortality. Each state has an established normal mortality rate for each type of livestock. Producers will only be compensated for losses in excess of these established mortality rates. For example, the established normal mortality rate for adult beef cows is 2 percent. This means that if a producer owned 100 cows and lost 2 due to excessive heat, the producer would not be eligible for compensation since the producer’s losses were not in excess of normal mortality.

Producers need to document all livestock losses incurred in order to prove normal mortality. These losses may not be eligible for compensation, but may count toward losses incurred under the normal mortality rate. This will prevent livestock losses caused by an eligible adverse weather event from being considered ineligible.

Another statement in the news release that should be taken note is 30-day deadline. Producers are required to file a notice of loss within 30 days of the loss being apparent. Producers may file a notice of loss by calling, e-mailing or faxing their local FSA service center. Once a notice of loss has been filed, producers have until the end of the calendar year to complete their application for payment.

james neill is the county executive director for the farm service agency in meade county, sd and can be contacted at james.neill@sd.usda.gov. questions about the livestock indemnity program or any other program administered by the farm service agency should be directed to your local farm service agency service center.

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