USDA: Document livestock weather losses
Unless you keep proper records of your adverse weather losses in livestock, you may be missing out on some federal assistance, USDA’s Montana Farm Service Agency reminds producers.
In advice that applies to stock producers throughout the West, the Montana warning is viewed as a reminder to document all losses in livestock if harsh weather causes problems.
This includes livestock and feed losses, and any additional expenses that result from losses to purchased forage or feedstuff.
“The 2014 Farm Bill provides a strong farm safety net to help farmers during these difficult times,” says FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “We’ll provide producers with information on the new program requirements, updates and sign-ups as the information becomes available. In the meantime, I urge producers to keep thorough records. We know these disasters have caused serious economic hardships for our livestock producers. We’ll do all we can to assist in their recovery.”
In addition to Western drought and early-winter snowstorms, there are a variety of disasters from floods to storms to unexpected freezes that have hit producers in the last year. Each event caused economic consequences for farmers and ranchers. FSA recommends that owners and producers record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including the following:
• documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses
• dates of animal deaths, supported by birth recordings and purchase receipts
• costs of transporting livestock to safer areas during natural disaster events, or to move animals to protected pastures
• feed purchases if supplies or pasture used for grazing are destroyed
• crop records, including those for seed and fertilizer purchases, planting, and production
• pictures of on-farm storage facilities if they were destroyed or damaged by wind or floodwater
• evidence of damaged farmland
Visit www.fsa.usda.gov or an FSA local office to learn more about programs and loans that may be available. For information about the 2014 Farm Bill, go to www.usda.gov/farmbill.
USDA says the Agricultural Act of 2014 provides authorization for services and programs that impact every American and millions of people around the world. It builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while targeting a goal of meaningful reform, which USDA says saves billions of dollars for the taxpayer.
The farm bill will allow USDA to continue record accomplishments on behalf of the American people, while providing new opportunity and possibly creating jobs across rural America.
According to the agency, the new bill helps USDA to further expand markets for agricultural products at home and abroad, strengthen conservation efforts, create new opportunities for local and regional food systems, and grow the biobased economy. And USDA says the farm bill will provide a dependable safety net for America’s farmers, ranchers and growers; maintain important agricultural research; and ensure access to safe and nutritious food.
President Barrack Obama compares the new programs to a Swiss Army knife — with multiple tools for research, jobs, conservation, innovation and a safety net to sustain ag operations.
This article published in the May, 2014 edition of WESTERN FARMER-STOCKMAN.
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