U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas Farm Service Agency
PO Box 2900
College Station, Texas - 77841
(COLLEGE STATION, TX), April 12, 2011 – As the drought in Texas continues, wildfires are a daily threat to livestock operations across the state. In the event of losses experienced as a result of wildfire, eligible ranchers and livestock producers can apply for benefits through the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).
"This program provides livestock producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the damaging financial impact of natural disasters," said Juan M. Garcia, executive director for USDA Texas Farm Service Agency.
LIP provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths that result from natural disaster. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. Eligible losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011.
Garcia adds, "A notice of loss must be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is apparent. Livestock that die within 60 days of the date of the qualifying event, but prior to Oct. 1, 2011 will be considered eligible for loss benefits."
USDA has established normal mortality rates for each type an weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef Cow = 1.5% and Non-Adult Beef Cattle = 3%. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under, "normal" conditions.
According to Garcia, producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event.
After filing a notice of loss, livestock producers should file a LIP application as soon as possible to avoid a delay in processing and receipt of disaster assistance.
For more information on LIP, the LIP application process and other FSA programs, please contact your local FSA office or visit FSA online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/tx