The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging Kansas livestock producers who have experienced drought related grazing losses over the last few years to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office soon in order to sign up for assistance through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).
The 2014 Farm Bill made the LFP a permanent program, providing retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011. Eligible grazing lands include native pasture, both short and long season small grains, forage sorghum, and improved pastures. Your local FSA office can inform you regarding which specific grazing lands and years your county is eligible but EVERY Kansas County had eligible losses in 2012, so it is important for all producers to contact their local FSA office.
By contacting your local FSA office prior to by September 30th, and at a minimum scheduling an appointment, farmers will avoid congressionally mandated payment reductions of 7.3 percent that will kick in at with the start of the new fiscal year. An Online Appointment Register is also available.
Farmers will need to provide a livestock inventory for each eligible year (documentation is helpful) along with certification of eligible grazing lands, which for most farmers and ranchers was accomplished through their annual report of acreage, FSA Form 578. Additional information will also be necessary to fully document leased pastures and/or leased cattle. More information is available through the LFP Factsheet.