USDA Reopens Application Period for Okla. Producers Recovering from Cattle Loss, Other DisastersThu, 14 Jun 2018 12:58:24 CDT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for disaster assistance from agricultural producers who suffered livestock, honeybee, farm-raised fish and other losses due to natural disasters. This assistance can help producers recover from any lost grazing days because of wildfire.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began taking applications June 4 for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to help producers recover from natural disasters in 2017 and 2018.
In Oklahoma, ELAP plays an important role in helping producers who couldn’t graze livestock because of wildfire and other natural disasters. This includes producers who lost grazing days because of March 2017 wildfires. Producers are eligible for assistance through ELAP, for lost grazing days, even if the wildfire occurred before the start of the grazing period, which is April 1 or April 15, depending on the county.
Producers who suffered 2017 wildfire grass losses are strongly encouraged to submit an ELAP application. Those who have already submitted ELAP applications for 2017 or 2018 losses, and have received decisions on those applications, do not need to file again. Producers can reapply if they have additional losses to report or if their application was disapproved because it was filed late.
In February, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which made several changes to ELAP, including removing ELAP’s $20 million fiscal year funding cap, enabling FSA to pay producers’ 2017 applications in full and their 2018 applications as soon as they are approved.
Producers interested in ELAP should contact their local USDA service center. To find a USDA Service Center near you, visit http://offices.usda.gov. To apply, producers must provide verifiable and reliable production records and other information about their operation.
Drought, wildfires and other disasters continue to impact farmers and ranchers and ELAP is one of many programs available through USDA to help producers recover. Learn more at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
Source - USDA
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