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160,000 U.S. Livestock Farmers Get Disaster Payments

By Amanda Brodhagen,

U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack reported that more than 106,000 livestock farmers and ranchers received $1.2-billion in disaster payments as a result of weather related losses - including from drought and the winter blizzard, between October 11 and the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

 “Farmers and ranchers who waited two and a half years for a farm bill are now getting some relief,” he said. “We met the very ambitious goal to get these programs up and running in just 60 days.”

 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately $2.5-billion will be provided in disaster payments through until September 2014. But that is just an estimate. If it holds true, the most recent round of payments would have covered nearly half of all disaster claims. It took the USDA 60 days to implement the livestock disaster programs, an improvement over the 2008 Farm Bill, which took a year.

Producers were able to begin applying for disaster assistance programs April 15, 2014. Under two main programs: the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Disaster Program. The programs compensate producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses. The programs were brought back under the 2014 Farm Bill.

The USDA hired additional staff to speed up the application progress for producers who had filed for disaster relief. According to the USDA, the first round of payments were mailed out to farmers within two weeks of enrollment.

The more than 106,000 payments were to producers from 40 U.S. states.

Deadlines for disaster assistance (by program):

2011-2013 Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) – Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

2011-2014 Livestock Forage Program (LFP) – Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

2011-2014 Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) – Friday, Jan. 30, 2015


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