USDA urges livestock disaster program sign-up

November 12, 2007

Colleen Cashell, executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, has announced that sign-up has begun for the new Livestock Compensation Program.

This ad hoc disaster program provides benefits to farmers who suffered losses to livestock feed caused by natural disasters in recent years.

"Between 2005 and early 2007, many agricultural producers across the country experienced financial difficulties as the result of devastating drought, floods, blizzards, tornadoes and other natural disasters," Cashell said. Several local counties, including Washington County, received a disaster designation in year 2005 for losses due to drought.

Eligible livestock owners can apply to receive benefits under the Livestock Compensation Program.

The following are among the types of livestock operations that will be eligible for the program: dairy cattle, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, equine, poultry, elk, reindeer, sheep, goats, swine or deer.


An eligible livestock operation must be commercially producing livestock as a business activity engaged in as a means of livelihood for profit and as part of a farming operation that grows its own livestock feed, including pasture.

The program compensates livestock producers for feed losses occurring between Jan.1, 2005, and Feb. 28, 2007, due to a natural disaster.

Producers in primary counties declared secretarial disaster areas or certain counties declared presidential disaster areas between Jan. 1, 2005, and Feb. 28, 2007, are eligible as are producers in counties contiguous to those counties.

Producers incurring a loss in more than one of the 2005, 2006 or 2007 calendar years must choose only one year for which they want to apply for benefits. The payment limitation for this program is $80,000 per person.

On May 25, President Bush signed into law the "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007" (2007 Act).

The 2007 Act authorizes the Livestock Compensation Program. More information about the program can be found on FSA's Web site,; click on Disaster Assistance Programs. In Washington County, call 301-797-0500, ext. 2, for more information on making application.

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