Lincoln, NE, Sept. 4, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible 2012, 2013 and 2014 Livestock Forage Program disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014. Congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible.

Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Livestock Program by Oct. 1

Contact:
Dan Steinkruger, State Executive Director, at (402) 437-5581
or dan.steinkruger@ne.usda.gov
FSA Website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ne

Lincoln, NE, Sept. 4, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible 2012, 2013 and 2014 Livestock Forage Program disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014. Congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible.

The Budget Control Act passed by Congress in 2011 requires USDA to implement reductions of 7.3 percent to the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2014. However, producers seeking LFP support who have scheduled appointments with their local FSA office before Oct. 1, even if the appointment occurs after Oct.1, will not see reductions in the amount of disaster relief they receive.

USDA is encouraging producers to register, request an appointment or begin a Livestock Forage Disaster Program application with their local FSA office before Oct. 1, 2014, to lock in the current zero percent sequestration rate. Producers who have already contacted the local office and have an appointment scheduled need do nothing more.

“In just four months since disaster assistance enrollments began, we’ve processed 240,000 applications to help farmers and ranchers who suffered losses,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Eligible producers who have not yet contacted their local FSA office should stop by or call their local FSA office or sign up online before Oct. 1 when congressionally mandated payment reductions take effect. This will ensure they receive as much financial assistance as possible.”

Nebraska Farm Service Agency State Director Dan Steinkruger noted, “Our state sustained significant drought losses in most of the state the last three years. With our large livestock industry, we have processed over 22,000 LFP applications across the state and issued over $250 million dollars in disaster assistance. Ranchers and farmers who have not yet applied need to do so now to avoid the 7.3% reduction.”

The updated Farm Bill Emergency Livestock Programs provide Nebraska livestock producers with additional risk management protection to support and maintain the industry. Crop producers utilize the crop insurance program to manage their risk needs. The 2014 Farm Bill now provides livestock and crop producers with improved risk management tools.

The Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program Frost Freeze payments will also be cut by 7.3 percent on Oct. 1, 2014. Unlike the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, applications for these programs must be fully completed by Sept. 30. FSA offices will prioritize these applications, but as the full application process can take several days or more to complete, producers are encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible.

Steinkruger added, “These programs are a great tool for the industry and benefit Nebraska’s economy. Farmers and ranchers need to contact our office in September if they do not have a current appointment.”

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) compensates eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014. Eligible livestock includes alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep or swine that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland. Producers forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits.

To learn more about USDA disaster relief programs, producers can review the 2014 Farm Bill fact sheet at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill, the LFP program fact sheet, http://go.usa.gov/5JTk, or contact their local FSA office.

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