Recent rain, blizzards, and snowmelt from warmer temperatures have caused significant damage across the Midwest in recent weeks.
For those who have been impacted, programs and resources are available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to assist farmers and ranchers as they work to recover from the impact of these events.
Programs Available To Farmers And Ranchers
Below is a summary of some of the disaster safety net programs offered through the FSA to farmers and ranchers impacted by the significant flooding that has occurred throughout the Midwest.
Livestock, Honeybees, Farm-Raised Fish
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) financially assists producers when they suffer loss of livestock due to adverse weather. Producers must notify their county FSA office of losses within 30 days of when those losses become apparent.
A phone call is an acceptable form of notification. Documentation of losses is Important and can include items such as veterinarian certification, other independent third-party certification, rendering receipts, dated photos or video. The FSA will also need to know the type and weight of the animals lost.
The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) can provide some cost-share assistance to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and to help restore fences damaged or lost due to a natural disaster.
This program does not trigger automatically, therefore, it is critical that producers contact their county FSA office about this program BEFORE taking any action to repair damages if they think they may want to access this cost-share resource.
Transportation Cost Assistance
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) can, in certain situations, financially assist with livestock feed losses. This may include situations where forage or feedstuffs were destroyed by flood waters. The program also may be available to assist with costs incurred for transporting livestock feed to eligible livestock during an adverse weather event.
There also may be options for producers through FSA farm loan programs, including the opportunity for existing FSA loan customers to delay a loan payment through the Disaster Set-Aside Program or access the Emergency Loan Program.
Additional Resources and Information
To find more information on the programs listed above and which options may be available to you, please visit www.farmers.gov and click on “Recover”. You may also obtain additional information by contacting your county FSA office, which can be located at offices.usda.gov.