Livestock producers who have animal death losses due to the Texas floods can apply for federal aid, according to state agriculture officials.
The Livestock Indemnity Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather.
To be eligible, a producer must have legally owned the eligible livestock on the day the livestock died. A fact sheet on this program is available at http://1.usa.gov/1JLJrMP.
Ranchers are encouraged to call the Farm Service Agency office in their counties to set up appointments as deadlines approach, officials said. There is a 30-day window in which a producer must establish the claim of loss with the local Farm Service Agency office.
“It’s very important to contact your local Farm Service Agency office,” said Judith Canales, Texas state executive director for the USDA-Farm Service Agency in College Station. “Just making that initial phone call to the local office and setting up a time to come in will initiate the process and take the necessary steps for prompt attention to a particular loss situation.
“It’s important for producers to know that these are not voluntary programs, so it’s up to the producer to make the phone call and set up an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency office.”
The program offers payments to producers who have experienced livestock loss beyond their normal mortality rates, which have been established by a Texas committee and are established state by state, said Dr. David Anderson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock economist, College Station.
“The producer, if experiencing a loss, should contact the local FSA office immediately. A phone call will get things going, but they must make an appointment. They then must go in and provide documentation to prove the losses.”
The application will require proof of purchase. Examples are video of what was lost, digital images, bill of sale receipt or other necessary paperwork to provide proof of purchase. Canales also reminds producers when meeting with Farm Service Agency officials to note if they operate in multiple counties.
The disaster programs are part of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the new farm bill, which has also helped Texas cattle producers rebuild and recover drought losses dating back to 2011.
A video overview of the federal disaster programs featuring Anderson and Canales is also available at http://bit.ly/25ERGtH.