The following is a press release from the Montana Department of Livestock:
Livestock producers who suffered winter- or flooding-related losses and are awaiting word on what kinds of disaster relief might be available are advised to be patient and document all losses and damage.
“Getting approval for disaster declarations takes time,” said Ed Tinsley, state Disaster & Emergency Services director. “In the meantime, the message to livestock and other agricultural producers is simple: Document, document, document, and contact your insurance agent.”
Governor Brian Schweitzer earlier this week requested a presidential disaster declaration. The Governor included 37 of Montana’s 56 counties along with five American Indian reservations in his request to President Barack Obama, and more could be added.
“This incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments,” Schweitzer wrote in his request.
Most relief programs livestock producers could be eligible for would be handled by the USDA-Farm Service Agency, and could include programs such as the Emergency Loan Program (EM), Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE), and tax benefits (a two-year break on capital gains). Producers generally have to suffer losses of 30 percent or more to qualify for such programs, and losses that are covered by insurance typically do not qualify.
Other programs livestock producers might qualify for, such as the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and the USDA-Natural Resource & Conservation Services Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), do not require any sort of disaster declaration.
With warmer weather expected to cause additional flooding in many areas, Tinsley said the state and its livestock producers aren’t yet out of the woods.
“With all the rainfall we’re getting around the state, and with high snowpack remaining in some areas, it’s reasonable to expect even more flooding,” he said. “There are places people can’t even get to yet, so it’s difficult to say what kind of losses were suffered.”
A map, updated daily, of counties where flood declarations have been made is available at http://nris.mt.gov/new/displayRelease.asp?relNum=316&referrer=whatsnew.asp
For additional information on USDA disaster relief programs, see the FSA’s Disaster Assistance Programs web site at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=diap&topic=landing
Source: Montana Department of Livestock
Posted by Haylie Shipp