Farm Bill compensates for livestock losses

The 2008 Farm Bill created several new disaster programs under the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance title.

One of these programs is the Livestock Indemnity Program or LIP. This program compensates producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather that occurred from Jan. 1, 2008, through Oct. 1, 2011.

Adverse weather events such as winter storms, tornadoes, lightning, flooding and extreme heat or cold conditions that cause these animal losses qualify.

For 2008 calendar year losses, producers must file their loss notice and application for payment by Sept. 14, 2009. Those 2009 losses that happened up to July 13, 2009, also must file a 9/14 loss notice, but have until Jan. 30, 2010, to apply for payment.

All other livestock deaths occurring after July 13 are subject to making their loss notices within 30 days of when the loss became apparent with payment applications to be made by Jan. 30 of the year following the death loss.

A variety of livestock is eligible for assistance that includes all types and weight ranges of cattle (beef, dairy), swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry.

Claimed livestock must have died in the year for which benefits are being requested and had been raised for commercial use as a part of a farming operation that produces commodities (i.e. grains, hays, grasses, silages, etc).

Producers will need to provide documentation detailing the proof of death to indicate that the livestock deaths are a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event. It will also be necessary for producers to provide documents detailing the quantity and kind of livestock that died as a result of the adverse weather event.

Documentation may include, but is not limited to bank or other loan documents, FEMA records, National Guard records, private insurance documents, purchase and production records, property-tax statements, rendering truck receipts, veterinarian records, and written contracts.

In the event verifiable documentation is not available, producers will be required to present reliable records documenting the proof of death along with a complete verifiable original livestock inventory for the operation.

All producer filings, normal mortality rates and loss payment processing is handling through county FSA offices.

LIP benefits are based on 75 percent of a pre-determined fair market value established and approved by USDA for each particular livestock category.

Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.

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