Federal disaster aid for Texas cattle producers is available and officials are encouraging producers to act quickly in applying for programs.
U.S. Department of Agriculture-Farm Service Agency Texas administrators gave updates on livestock disaster programming in College Station at the 60th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, coordinated by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the department of animal science at Texas A&M University.
Ranchers are encouraged to call the Farm Service Agency office in their county to set up appointments as deadlines approach for these programs, officials said.
The disaster programs are part of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the new farm bill, which will help Texas cattle producers rebuild and recover drought losses dating back to 2011, said Judith Canales, Texas state executive director for the USDA-Farm Service Agency.
"(As of Aug. 6), $258 million in livestock disaster payments have been distributed in Texas," Canales said. "We have 173 offices here in Texas to work with you, and we encourage you to schedule an appointment."
Highlights of programs offered to cattle producers were:
- Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance provides assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster. This includes grasses planted for livestock production. A fact sheet on this program is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.
- The Livestock Indemnity Program provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather. To be eligible, a producer must have legally owned the eligible livestock on the day the livestock died. A fact sheet on this program is available .
- The Livestock Forage Disaster Program is retroactive to cover eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or is planted specifically for grazing. The program provides compensation to eligible livestock producers whohave suffered grazing losses on rangeland managed by a federal agency if the producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing normal permitted livestock on the managed rangeland due to a qualifying fire. The grazing losses must have occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011. Payments are based on animal units. A fact sheet on this program is available.
For more information on the disaster programs go to the website or contact a local Texas FSA county office.
Source: Texas A&M University