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Assistance Available Through FSA For Drought Related Expenses

Jun 15, 2022 (0)

O'NEILL — Holt-Boyd County U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Shawna Mitchell, reminds livestock producers of the availability of financial assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). ELAP is available to qualified producers who have suffered above normal expenses for hauling feed or water to livestock or hauling livestock to forage/grazing acres due to the impacts of drought.

Holt and Boyd County became eligible for the program due to drought status as shown on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For eligible producers in qualifying counties, ELAP provides financial assistance for: the transportation of water to livestock; the above normal cost of mileage for transporting feed to livestock; the above normal cost of transporting livestock to forage/grazing acres. This is for hauling livestock one-way and no payment for “empty miles.”

Mitchell said eligible livestock include cattle, buffalo, goats and sheep, among others that are maintained for commercial use. Producers must have risk in both eligible livestock and eligible grazing land in an eligible county to qualify for ELAP assistance.

“Prolonged drought conditions have created a need for livestock disaster assistance programs in Holt and Boyd County,” said Mitchell. “I encourage all affected livestock producers to contact the O'Neill USDA Service Center for more information and to sign-up for the program.”

Details regarding each component of ELAP include:

WATER TRANSPORTATION

For ELAP water transportation assistance, a producer must be transporting water to eligible livestock on eligible grazing land where the producer had adequate livestock watering systems or facilities in place before the drought occurred and where they do not normally require the transportation of water. Payments are for costs associated with personal labor, equipment, hired labor, equipment, and/or contracted water transportation fees. Cost of the water itself is not covered. The ELAP payment formula uses a national average price per gallon.

ABOVE NORMAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTING FEED

ELAP provides financial assistance to livestock producers who incur above normal expenses for transporting feed to livestock during drought. The payment formula excludes the first 25 miles and any mileage over 1,000 miles. The reimbursement rate is 60% of the costs above what would normally have been incurred during the same time period in a normal (non-drought) year.

ABOVE NORMAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTING LIVESTOCK TO FORAGE/GRAZING ACRES

ELAP provides financial assistance to livestock producers who are hauling livestock to a new location for feed resources due to insufficient feed and/or grazing in drought-impacted areas. Assistance for livestock transportation is retroactive to 2021 and available for 2022 and subsequent years. For those interested in this provision for 2021, the deadline to apply for assistance is June 30, 2022.

For calendar year 2022 losses, producers must submit a notice of loss to the FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent; producers should contact their county FSA office as soon as the loss of water resources or feed resources are known.

“For ELAP eligibility, documentation of expenses is critical. Producers should maintain records and receipts associated with the costs of transporting water to eligible livestock, the costs of transporting feed to eligible livestock, and the costs of transporting eligible livestock to forage/grazing acres,” Mitchell said.

Livestock producers are encouraged to contact FSA with questions regarding specific program eligibility requirements. ELAP also offers assistance to producers impacted by wildfire. In addition, beekeepers also can benefit from ELAP provisions and should contact the FSA office within 15 calendar days of when a loss occurs or from when the loss is apparent.

Visit farmers.gov/recover to learn more about ELAP and other FSA disaster assistance programs or contact the Holt-Boyd County FSA at 402-336-3796.

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