USDA provided an update on upcoming disaster assistance during last week’s Cattle Industry Convention. The assistance is for agricultural producers impacted by weather-related disasters in 2020 and 2021.
While speaking at the annual event Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie, said “Over the past two years, as agricultural producers have struggled with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have been hard-hit by more frequent and more intense natural disasters.” Bonnie said “With the help of Congress, USDA is working to deliver $10 billion in much-needed relief, including $750 million for livestock producers impacted by the severe drought.”
According to Bonnie, USDA will follow a two-phased process to administer relief to eligible livestock and crop producers, with the first phase utilizing a streamlined process that relies on existing data that producers have already reported to USDA.
For phase one, USDA will leverage their Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) data to administer relief. LFP is a tool that provides up to 60 percent of the estimated replacement feed cost when drought adversely impacts grazing lands. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) continues to tally 2021 LFP applications filed by the January 31, 2022 deadline, but early estimates show 74,000 applications totaling more than $500 million in payments to livestock producers under LFP.
Phase one for crop producers is a broader program that will provide assistance through the existing Federal Crop Insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program data as the basis for calculating initial payments.
Then phase two is for both livestock and crop producers, and it will fill additional assistance gaps and cover eligible producers who did not participate in these existing programs.