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Livestock producers may be eligible for help

Area livestock producers impacted by drought issues may be eligible for help.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director John Benge in Webster/Claiborne/Bienville Parish said that ranchers and livestock producers may be eligible for assistance from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for grazing losses incurred in 2018.

According to Benge, “Webster/Claiborne/Bienville Parish recently met qualifying drought ratings that ‘trigger’ eligibility for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program on annual ryegrass, cool season improved pasture, and small grains.”

LFP provides compensation to livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire. For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.

Qualifying fires are those occurring on rangeland managed by a federal agency and the producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing the normal permitted livestock on the managed rangeland due to the fire.

Eligible livestock include alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer or sheep that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland during the normal grazing period.

Applications are required for 2018 losses. To expedite applications, producers who experienced losses in 2018 are encouraged to collect records documenting their losses. Supporting documents may include information related to grazing leases or federal grazing permits, contract grower agreements and more.

“We encourage producers to contact our office for an appointment and to learn what records are required to apply for assistance,” said Benge.