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Extension Specialists Encouraging Farmers To Sign Up For Assistance Programs

By  Katie Nichols
 
Alabama Cooperative Extension professionals are encouraging livestock producers to sign up for the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).
Ken Kelley, a farm and agribusiness management agent, is encouraging producers to sign up for assistance through local FSA offices.
“More than half of the state is eligible for assistance from the FSA,” Kelley said. “With widespread drought, and without rain in the near future, many other producers will be eligible for assistance.”
 
Livestock Forage Disaster Program
 
The most recent Drought Monitor lists every county of the state, except Conecuh, in a severe drought stage.
 
A large number of counties are under D3 and D4 drought listings, extreme and exceptional drought, respectively.
 
drought-monitor-reading-nov-21
 
Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill authorized the LFP to provide compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses on pastureland. Grazing losses must be due to a qualifying drought condition during the normal grazing period for the county.
Kelley said the number of producers anticipated to apply for assistance is high, it is important to make plans with your local FSA office.
“I want to encourage producers to go ahead and set up a meeting at the local FSA office to discuss plans for moving forward,” Kelley said. “Begin the paperwork, and ask for advice and recommendations—even if you are not eligible for assistance at this time.”
 
Eligibility for Drought Assistance
 
In order to receive assistance, producers must own or lease grazing land or pastureland physically located in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • D2 (severe drought) intensity in any area of the county for at least eight consecutive weeks during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance. Assistance will be an amount equal to one monthly payment.
  • D3 (extreme drought) intensity in any area of the county at any time during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance. Assistance will arrive in an amount equal to three monthly payments.
  • D3 (extreme drought) intensity in any area of the county for at least four weeks during the normal grazing period or is a D4 (exceptional drought) intensity at any time during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance. Assistance will be an amount equal to four monthly payments.
  • D4 (exceptional drought) in a county for four weeks (not necessarily four consecutive weeks) during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance. This level drought garners assistance in an amount equal to five monthly payments.
 
Livestock Eligibility
 
Eligible livestock include beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, poultry, sheep, swine, equine and goats. Other livestock also include alpacas, llamas, elk, reindeer and emus that have been grazing the eligible land.
 
Livestock must have been owned, purchased or entered into a contract to purchase during the 60 days prior to the beginning date of a qualifying drought condition.
 
 FSA will calculate LFP payments for an eligible livestock producer for grazing losses in the event of a qualifying drought. Kelley said the payments will be based on the duration and intensity—as determined by the drought monitor—of the drought in each location.
 

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