What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

USDA to Host 2018 Farm Bill Implementation Listening Session
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced that USDA is hosting a listening session for initial input on the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA is seeking public input on the changes to existing programs implemented by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency. Each agency will take into account stakeholder input when making discretionary decisions on program implementation.

“The 2018 Farm Bill is intended to provide support, certainty and stability to our Nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs, and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation,” said Under Secretary Northey. “We are seeking input from stakeholders on how USDA can streamline and improve program delivery while also enhancing customer service.”

The listening session will be held February 26, 2019 at 9 a.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building located at 14th Street and Independence Ave. S.W. in Washington, D.C.

The listening session is open to the public. Participants must register at farmers.gov/farmbill by February 22, 2019, to attend the listening session and are encouraged to provide written comments prior to the listening session. For those orally presenting comments at the listening session, written comments are encouraged to be submitted to www.regulations.gov by February 22, 2019.  Additional written comments will be accepted through March 1, 2019. Comments received will be publicly available on www.regulations.gov.

“Truly this is a Farm Bill that improves farm safety net programs, protects federal crop insurance, and preserves strong rural development and research initiatives. At USDA we are eager to hear from our stakeholders on policy recommendations, so we can start working on implementing these important Farm Bill provisions,” said Northey.

For more information on the listening session visit  farmers.gov/farmbill.

Livestock Inventory Records
Producers are reminded to keep updated livestock inventory records. These records are necessary in the event of a natural disaster.

When disasters strike, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist producers who suffered excessive livestock death losses and grazing or feed losses due to eligible natural disasters.

To participate in livestock disaster assistance programs, producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.

For grazing or feed losses, producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent and should maintain documentation and receipts.

Producers should record all pertinent information regarding livestock inventory records including:

• Documentation of the number, kind, type, and weight range of livestock
• Beginning inventory supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts

For more information on documentation requirements, contact your local FSA office.

Livestock Losses
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to eligible producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law.

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat or extreme cold.

For disease losses, FSA county committees can accept veterinarian certifications that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management.

For 2019 livestock losses, eligible livestock owners must file a notice within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent.  In addition to filing a notice of loss, producers must also submit an application for payment.

Participants must provide the following supporting documentation to their local FSA office no later than 90 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred.

• Proof of death documentation
• Copy of growers contracts
• Proof of normal mortality documentation.

USDA has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef Cow = 1.5% and Non-Adult Beef Cattle (less than 400 pounds) = 5%. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under “normal” conditions.

Additional Information about LIP is available at your local FSA office or online at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

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