Emphasis on Insurance Requirements-
Juan M. Garcia, Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Texas, announced earlier this week that Texas FSA offices statewide are now accepting applications for benefits under the provisions of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) as outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill. For both programs, producers must have suffered losses that occurred on or after January 1, 2008, and before October 1, 2011.
In order for an LFP or ELAP applicant to qualify for program benefits, the applicant must have purchased insurance coverage through FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance (PRF-RI) program offered through the Risk Management Agency (RMA).
FSA offered producers the opportunity to “buy-in” eligibility for 2008 program benefits for LFP subject to a September 16, 2008 deadline. Deadlines for buy-in for 2008 ELAP benefits were September 16, 2008 and May 18, 2009; and purchase of 2009 crop year NAP coverage for native and improved pasture for grazing had to be completed by December 1, 2008.
“Since the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill in June of 2008, the Agency publicized program ‘buy-in’ and NAP coverage deadlines and offered deadline extensions in order to insure all producers had ample opportunity to meet program eligibility requirements,” said Garcia.
Producers who meet the requirements of a socially disadvantaged, limited resource, or beginning farmers or ranchers, as defined in the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Section 2501 (e) (7 U.S.C. 2279(e)), do not have to meet this Risk Management Purchase Requirement (RMPR) and, therefore, are not required to have paid the buy-in fee.
Garcia stressed that FSA will consider granting equitable relief to producers who did not meet RMPR provisions; rendering them ineligible for livestock disaster program benefits.
“For certain extenuating circumstances, FSA has the authority to grant equitable relief to producers who made a good faith effort to comply with RMPR provisions,” said Garcia “All requests for equitable relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis but producers must understand that relief is not guaranteed.”
LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire. 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. For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html.
ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires. ELAP assistance is for losses not covered under other Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill, specifically LFP, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE).
LFP and ELAP program applicants should note that in addition to risk management provisions, certain payment limitation and adjusted gross income eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for livestock disaster program benefits.
For more information or to apply for ELAP or LFP and other USDA Farm Service Agency disaster assistance programs, please visit your local USDA Service Center or FSA county office. Information can also be obtained on line at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.