For farmers and ranchers affected by drought, wildfire or other disasters there are some important programs through the Farm Service Agency with quickly approaching deadlines to keep in mind.
It has been a challenging year for producers across Montana, the Western Dakotas and Northeastern Wyoming but there are some programs with funds available to help. Below are three that will be of particular importance to producers in our region.
Livestock Forage Disaster Program
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program compensates producers who have suffered grazing losses for livestock on pasture due to a drought. Producers in 42 counties in Montana, 32 counties in North Dakota, 35 counties in South Dakota and 2 in Wyoming are eligible for assistance. Check the map Here to see if you qualify. Payments are dependent on the length of the drought in the specific county and the number of owned livestock.
To be eligible for assistance 2017 acreage reports are required to be filed for all eligible land no late than Nov. 15, 2017. Producers than have until Jan. 30, 2018 to complete their LFP application. Additional information can be found Here.
Emergency Livestock Assistance Program
The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) provides assistance to producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish to cover losses due to adverse weather events such as wildfires, blizzards, disease and blizzards. ELAP covers losses that are not covered under other programs such as LFP.
There are four categories of losses covered by ELAP:
· Livestock death losses caused by an eligible loss condition
· Livestock feed and grazing losses that are not due to drought or wildfires on federally managed lands
· Losses resulting from the additional cost of transporting water to livestock during a drought
· Losses resulting from the additional cost related to cattle tick fever
Again 2017 acreage reports are required to be filed for all eligible land by Nov. 15, 2017. Producers who suffer eligible losses must file a notice of loss and an application for payment by Nov. 1, 2017. Additional information can be found Here.
Emergency Loan Program
Lastly, the Emergency Loan Program is available to producers in counties designated as or contiguous to natural disaster areas. Producers have 8 months from the date of disaster designation to apply for low-interest emergency loans for the following purposes:
· Restore or replace essential property
· Pay all of part of production costs associated with the disaster year
· Pay essential family living expenses
· Refinance debts, excluding real estate
Producers interested in applying for any of these programs should contact their local FSA office to set up an appointment and be sure to get their acreage reports completed.
Source: Farm Service Agency