USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following floods, blizzards or similar qualifying natural disasters.
Producers should record all pertinent information regarding livestock losses due to eligible adverse weather or loss condition, including:
- Documentation of the number, kind, type, and weight range of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by 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 loss due to an eligible loss condition
- 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
Available programs and loans include:Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
Offers payments to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible losses may include those determined by FSA to have been caused by floods, blizzards, tornadoes, lightning, extreme heat and extreme cold, or disease, resulting from adverse weather. Producers will be required to provide documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.
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 or mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs intended for use as feed for the producer’s eligible livestock. In order to be considered eligible, harvested forage must be baled; forage that is only cut, raked or wind rowed is not eligible. Producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent. ELAP also covers up to 150 lost grazing days in instances when a producer has been forced to remove livestock from a grazing pasture due to floodwaters. For beekeepers, ELAP covers beehive losses (the physical structure) in instances where the hive has been destroyed by a natural disaster including flooding, high winds and tornadoes.
Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
Provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters; includes fence loss.
Emergency Loan Program
Available to producers with agricultural operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial or Presidential disaster designation. These low-interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.
Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
Provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters (includes native grass for grazing). Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2019 crops.
Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
Provides assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers for qualifying tree, shrub and vine losses due to natural disaster.
Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP)
Provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest land in order to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster.
An Internet-based Hay and Grazing Net Ad Service allowing farmers and ranchers to share ‘NeedHay’ ads and ‘Have Hay’ ads online. Farmers also can use another feature to post advertisements for grazing land, specifically ads announcing the availability of grazing land or ads requesting a need for land to graze.
The Farm Service Agency is the United States Department of Agriculture agency into which were merged several predecessor agencies, including the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.