The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Dan Steinkruger
State Executive Director - Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency 

Letter to the Editor: Livestock Forage Disaster Program deadline nears


Dear Editor,

Since late 20111, America’s livestock producers have endured weather disasters such as historic droughts, blizzards, floods and fires, awaiting Congressional enactment of a farm bill so that disaster assistance could resume.

When the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Obama in February, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack ensured that disaster programs were restarted in 60 days, by April 15, 2014.

Five months later, USDA’s Farm Service Agency has approved more than 250,000 applications seeking assistance, exceeding Congressional estimates, and more applications are expected. To address demand, FSA in Nebraska has reassigned field employees, with many working overtime and weekends, so that livestock producers get the help they need and deserve. Agriculture doesn’t stand still, and neither does USDA.

If you’ve suffered livestock forage or feed grazing losses in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program may offer help. For farmers and ranchers who have not contacted FSA by Sept. 30, 2014, the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed by Congress requires USDA to reduce LFP payments by 7.3 percent beginning Oct. 1 – the start of the federal fiscal year.

The Livestock Forage Program compensates for grazing losses due to drought or fire. Eligible livestock includes alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep or swine that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland.

If you are seeking help from other programs such as the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program or the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, you’ll need to complete your full application before Sept. 30, 2014. Contact your local FSA office for more information.


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