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Delayed 2012 Drought-loss Aid on the Way

April 4, 2014

By: Duane Dailey, University of Missouri

Farmers who lost forages or livestock in the drought of 2012 should prepare to document those losses. The 2014 farm bill includes livestock disaster aid going back to 2011.

Nearly $1 billion in disaster aid will be spent, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, says Scott Brown, University of Missouri agricultural economist.

"Many Missouri livestock producers will be eligible for payments. Some payouts may be big," Brown says.

"Regulations have not been released. While USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) prepares rules, farmers can prepare to make their cases.

"There are few details in the disaster section of the farm bill. Those details must be spelled out before farmers can file claims at their FSA office."

University of Missouri Extension plans educational support to producers. "Livestock disaster aid is our first priority," says Dave Baker, assistant dean for extension, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

MU Extension specialists will assist FSA staff in their educational efforts over the next year.

USDA says livestock farmers can sign a local list at FSA offices to schedule enrollment. In many cases, farmers who have not received federal crop assistance may not be on local office rolls.

"We're trying to reach producers not normally involved in government programs," says Brent Carpenter, MU Extension agricultural business specialist, Sedalia. "They may not be familiar with their local USDA office."

Signing the list and giving contacts, including email, will speed the process. FSA will start sign-ups April 15.

"Being prepared will speed the process," Brown says.

Those first in line are not likely to deplete available funds, Brown says. "From reading the farm bill, it appears there is no cap on funding."

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