Society

FSA clarifies livestock eligibility requirements

Emphasis put on insurance provisions

Juan M. Garcia, Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Texas, announced earlier this week that Texas FSA offices statewide are now accepting applications for benefits under the provisions of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) as outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill.

For both programs, producers must have suffered losses that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011.

In order for an LFP or ELAP applicant to qualify for program benefits, the applicant must have purchased insurance coverage through FSA's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance (PRF-RI) program offered through the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

FSA offered producers the opportunity to "buy-in" eligibility for 2008 program benefits for LFP subject to a Sept. 16, 2008 deadline. Deadlines for buy-in for 2008 ELAP benefits were Sept. 16, 2008 and May 18, 2009; and purchase of 2009 crop year NAP coverage for native and improved pasture for grazing had to be completed by Dec. 1, 2008.

"Since the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill in June of 2008, the Agency publicized program 'buy-in' and NAP coverage deadlines and offered deadline extensions in order to insure all producers had ample opportunity to meet program eligibility requirements," said Garcia.

Livestock

LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire. Fire losses apply only to federally managed rangeland. Eligible livestock under LFP include beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine. For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at http://www.drought.unl. edu/dm/monitor.html.

For more information or to apply for ELAP or LFP and other USDA Farm Service Agency disaster assistance programs, please visit your local USDA Service Center or FSA county office. Information can also be obtained on line at http://www. fsa.usda.gov.

L oc a ls may a lso contac t Milam FSA Director Kev in Humphrey at 254-697-4949.


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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