Obama Administration Announces Drought Assistance for Livestock Producers
“Today’s announcement by President Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in California is the first step in implementing the Farm Bill that will provide critical emergency assistance to California ranchers and it will assist drought impacted Nebraska livestock producers,” noted FSA State Executive Director Dan Steinkruger. At President Obama’s direction, USDA has made implementation
of the Farm Bill livestock disaster assistance programs a top priority and plans to have the programs available for sign up by April 15, 2014.
Secretary Vilsack stated “President Obama and I will continue to do everything within our power to support California farmers, ranchers and families living in drought-stricken areas. This assistance, coupled with other aid being made available across government, should provide some relief during this difficult time.” Secretary Vilsack also said “Thanks to the newly-signed Farm Bill, we are now able to offer long-awaited livestock disaster assistance.”
The 2014 Farm Bill contains permanent livestock disaster programs including the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, which will help producers in California and Nebraska recover from the drought. At President Obama’s direction, USDA is making implementation of the disaster programs a top priority and plans to have the programs available for sign-up in 60 days. Producers will be able to sign up for
the livestock disaster programs for losses they experienced in 2012 and 2013. While these livestock programs took over a year to get assistance out the door under the last Farm Bill; USDA has committed to cut that time by more than 80 percent and begin sign-up in April.
As USDA begins implementing disaster assistance programs, producers should record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:
· Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses;
· Dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts;
· Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures;
· Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed.
For more information about today’s announcements, visit the USDA drought resource page at www.usda.gov/drought.
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