Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance by Oct. 1Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:36:08 CDT
Francie Tolle, State Executive Director of the Oklahoma Farm Service Agency (FSA), is encouraging livestock producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act now to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) compensates eligible livestock producers for grazing losses due to drought, or fire on federal lands between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014. Producers forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits.
The Budget Control Act passed by Congress in 2011 requires USDA to implement reductions of 7.3 percent to 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 a reduction in their payment.
An online registration is also available to producers to sign up electronically before Oct. 1 to avoid a payment reduction. This is an alternative to contacting the local FSA office.
Click here to register for a LFP appointment online.
"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.
Tolle reiterated the impact to producers stating, "Our staff has been working diligently to process nearly 45,000 applications, making a significant impact for Oklahoma's livestock producers who continue to suffer losses due to the drought. We anticipate that number to at least double and encourage all livestock producers not to delay in contacting their local FSA office."
Since LFP began on April 15th, some changes to the program have occurred in regard to contract growers. Those contract growers that have already visited a county office are encouraged to contact them again to see if any changes may apply to their application.
The Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program will also be cut by 7.3 percent on Oct. 1, 2014. Unlike LFP, applications for these programs must be fully completed by Sept. 30, to avoid reduction.
A complete directory of Oklahoma FSA Offices can be located online by clicking here. For further information about our disaster programs and USDA's Farm Bill implementation plan, click here to visit FSA's 2014 Farm Bill Web page online.
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