FSA programs explained: Emergency assistance available for grazing losses | TSLN.com

FSA programs explained: Emergency assistance available for grazing losses

For the September 3, 2011 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

About six months ago I discussed a program called the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish or ELAP. I wanted to readdress this issue and remind livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to adverse conditions that this program is still available and will be ending on Sept. 30, 2011.

ELAP is the third livestock disaster program authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. The first program, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), provides livestock producers with compensation for livestock losses that die due to adverse weather. The second program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Assistance Program (LFP), provides livestock producers with compensation for grazing losses suffered due to a drought or grazing losses on federally managed land due to wildfire.

ELAP compliments the first two programs while providing compensation for death losses and additional expenses incurred by honeybee and farm-raised fish producers.

ELAP compliments LIP by providing compensation for livestock losses not covered under LIP. An example would be losses caused be wolf depredation. Wolf depredation is not covered under LIP but may be compensated under ELAP as long as the producer can provide sufficient documentation proving wolf depredation. If you have suffered livestock losses not covered under LIP, you should contact your local FSA in order to determine if your losses are eligible under ELAP and what documentation may be required.

ELAP compliments the LFP by providing compensation for grazing losses due to adverse weather except for grazing losses due to drought (LFP provides compensation for grazing losses due to drought). Examples may include floods, blizzards, hail and insect infestation.

ELAP provides additional compensation not found in the other two livestock programs such as compensation for losses of purchased or produced feedstuff lost due to adverse weather and/or additional costs incurred due to maintaining livestock during periods of adverse weather. Examples may include hay purchased above normal quantities to maintain livestock, transportation costs, equipment rental costs, or snow removal in order to access feed. Producers are reminded to maintain copies of receipts if applying for compensation for additional costs incurred.

This program can provide needed assistance during periods of disaster that most programs in the past have never addressed. That being said, everyone needs to know that in order to be eligible for compensation under ELAP that producers need to have purchased at least a catastrophic level of insurance on all crops in all counties that they have an interest, except crops intended for grazing.

If you suffer losses eligible under the ELAP, you must file a Notice of Loss within 30 days of the loss becoming apparent and no later than Oct. 30, 2011 for losses suffered during 2011. Once a Notice of Loss has been filed, producers have up to Jan. 30, 2012 to complete an application for payment.

ELAP receives 50 million dollars in funding per year. Compensation for losses under ELAP are totaled nationwide at the end of the year in order to determine whether a national payment factor will be used before payments are made.

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 emergency assistance for livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish 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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