North Dakota livestock producers cope with intense weekend storm | TSLN.com
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North Dakota livestock producers cope with intense weekend storm

Mother Nature reared her ugly head again over the weekend, April 30-May 1, in some parts of northwest North Dakota, dumping more than a foot of snow over an already saturated landscape and leaving major portions of the region – at least 29 communities – without power.

North Dakota beef producers were in the heart of the storm, tirelessly working to protect their herds and, especially, the many newborn calves that are on the ground and that are still making their debut. Challenges came in the form of wind, rain and snow and from disoriented animals drifting with the storms.

“This has been a tremendously stressful winter – both for people and their livestock,” said North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) President Jason Schmidt, a rancher from Medina, ND. “Our hearts go out to all those who suffered losses over the weekend and who are scrambling to find some semblance of normal this week.”

While the weather has improved since the windy, rainy, blizzardy Saturday, cattle producers are still busy taking inventory of their herds, “pairing up” cows and calves, treating those that are now sick with pneumonia or scours, and burying those that perished. Ranchers’ workload will be intense in the days ahead as well, as they continue to treat and care for their animals.

Schmidt reminds producers who have lost cattle as a result of this or another adverse weather event that the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is available to those who have experienced above-normal mortality rates. LIP provides some compensation for weather-related death losses. Livestock losses from some diseases may also be eligible if the disease was accelerated or intensified by an eligible adverse weather event. LIP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

The program covers livestock, such as cattle, sheep, swine, poultry and goats, as well as other animals that were being used for commercial purposes as part of a farming operation.

Producers must file a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 days of the loss being apparent. The notice of loss may be completed by telephone, in person or by e-mail or fax.

In application for the LIP, producers will be required to provide documentation about their losses. FSA officials suggest that producers use a camera with an imprinted date feature to document their losses. Other verifiable documentation includes things such as veterinary records, bank or other loan documents, production records or calving books. If these types of records are not available, a certificate from a third party may be accepted if the third party is not affiliated with the producer’s operation, but has specific knowledge of the deaths. In those cases, inventory records will also be required. For more information about LIP, contact your local FSA office.

“The determination our ranchers have – even with the extra circumstances the weather poses on our livelihood and our sanity – never ceases to amaze me. That grit, that dedication, that passion, is something to be admired,” said Schmidt. “I’m hopeful that producers will remain positive as they work through the conditions at hand. The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association stands ready to assist them in any way it can.”

Mother Nature reared her ugly head again over the weekend, April 30-May 1, in some parts of northwest North Dakota, dumping more than a foot of snow over an already saturated landscape and leaving major portions of the region – at least 29 communities – without power.

North Dakota beef producers were in the heart of the storm, tirelessly working to protect their herds and, especially, the many newborn calves that are on the ground and that are still making their debut. Challenges came in the form of wind, rain and snow and from disoriented animals drifting with the storms.

“This has been a tremendously stressful winter – both for people and their livestock,” said North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) President Jason Schmidt, a rancher from Medina, ND. “Our hearts go out to all those who suffered losses over the weekend and who are scrambling to find some semblance of normal this week.”

While the weather has improved since the windy, rainy, blizzardy Saturday, cattle producers are still busy taking inventory of their herds, “pairing up” cows and calves, treating those that are now sick with pneumonia or scours, and burying those that perished. Ranchers’ workload will be intense in the days ahead as well, as they continue to treat and care for their animals.

Schmidt reminds producers who have lost cattle as a result of this or another adverse weather event that the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is available to those who have experienced above-normal mortality rates. LIP provides some compensation for weather-related death losses. Livestock losses from some diseases may also be eligible if the disease was accelerated or intensified by an eligible adverse weather event. LIP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

The program covers livestock, such as cattle, sheep, swine, poultry and goats, as well as other animals that were being used for commercial purposes as part of a farming operation.

Producers must file a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 days of the loss being apparent. The notice of loss may be completed by telephone, in person or by e-mail or fax.

In application for the LIP, producers will be required to provide documentation about their losses. FSA officials suggest that producers use a camera with an imprinted date feature to document their losses. Other verifiable documentation includes things such as veterinary records, bank or other loan documents, production records or calving books. If these types of records are not available, a certificate from a third party may be accepted if the third party is not affiliated with the producer’s operation, but has specific knowledge of the deaths. In those cases, inventory records will also be required. For more information about LIP, contact your local FSA office.

“The determination our ranchers have – even with the extra circumstances the weather poses on our livelihood and our sanity – never ceases to amaze me. That grit, that dedication, that passion, is something to be admired,” said Schmidt. “I’m hopeful that producers will remain positive as they work through the conditions at hand. The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association stands ready to assist them in any way it can.”


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