Thursday, July 2, 2009

Disaster Programs One Step Closer to Reality

Remember how we worked so hard to get permanent federal agriculture disaster programs created in the 2008 Farm Bill? Remember how we won that fight through coordinated efforts? Well, USDA is finally getting the programs moving. Today, they released eligibility rules for five new disaster programs. These programs will provide much-needed assistance to producers across America. The programs are the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP), the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

This news does not mean the programs are available for producers to access right now, however. I was told as recently as March not to expect these programs until Christmas. USDA is indicating that LIP applications should be available in July. In the meantime, eligible livestock owners should begin gathering the documentation needed to verify their losses. Veterinary reports, insurance records, and renderer receipts are just a few examples of qualifying documentation. Go to USDA’s Web site here for more information (I also encourage producers to contact their county FSA offices for further information).

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