USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director, James B. Douglass reminds eligible ranchers and livestock producers who had livestock losses or grazing losses during the 2011 crop year that the deadline for applying for benefits under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) is Jan. 30, 2012.

“It is imperative that producers meet the deadline for disaster assistance as there are no late file provisions for LFP and ELAP," said Douglass. “To insure a smooth application process, producers should have all required supporting documentation with them at the time they apply for benefits,” he said.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP):

LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire that occurred before Oct. 1, 2011.  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. 

During the 2011 crop year, all Texas counties met the LFP trigger requirements for a three-month payment for native pasture, improved pasture and forage sorghum. Eligible ranchers and livestock producers have until Jan. 30, 2012, to apply for LFP benefits.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP):

ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires that occurred before Oct. 1, 2011. ELAP assistance is for losses not covered under other disaster assistance programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill.

Producers who experienced livestock death losses must file a notice of loss 30 days after the loss is apparent, but no later than Dec. 29, 2011. Producers who suffered livestock grazing and feed losses must have filed a notice of loss no later than Oct. 31, 2011, and have until Jan. 30, 2012, to submit an application for payment for livestock death losses and livestock grazing and feed losses.

Program Requirements:

In order to qualify for LFP and ELAP, the applicant must have purchased insurance coverage through FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance-Rainfall Index for Grazing (PRF-RI) program offered through the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Producers who meet the requirements of a socially disadvantaged, limited resource, or beginning farmer or rancher do not have to meet the Risk Management Purchase Requirement (RMPR).

Program applicants should note that certain payment limitation and adjusted gross income eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for LFP and ELAP.

For more information on FSA’s livestock disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov.