FSA Assistance Available for Drought-Impacted Kansas Livestock Producers

KANSAS FARM SERVICE AGENCY (USDA-FSA) – The Kansas Farm Service Agency has been closely tracking drought conditions statewide in anticipation of providing needed assistance to livestock producers impacted by drought.  Ranchers and livestock producers in some counties now have two different programs through which they can request assistance from FSA—the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Emergency Harvesting and Grazing.  Livestock producers and ranchers should contact their local county FSA office to verify county eligibility and learn specific program details before taking any action.

Livestock Forage Program

Producers in several Kansas counties are eligible to apply for 2020 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) benefits on native and improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or certain crops planted specifically for grazing such as small grains, annual rye grass/crab grass and forage sorghum. LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffer grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought on privately owned or cash leased land or fire on federally managed land.

Eligible livestock producers must complete a CCC-853 and the required supporting documentation no later than February 1, 2021, for 2020 losses.

Check https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ to see if your county has reached an eligible drought status.  Additional information about LFP, including eligible livestock criteria, is available at your local FSA office or online at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/livestock-forage/index.

CRP Emergency Harvesting and Grazing

Certain Kansas CRP practices may be harvested or grazed outside the primary nesting season (April 15-July 15) in counties that have reached at least a D2 drought status on the U.S. Drought Monitor noted above.  Individual county drought status will be approved and updated weekly at the national FSA level.

Emergency grazing is available on all CRP practices, but grazing will be limited to a maximum of 90 days; OR September 30, 2020; OR when the cover reaches the minimum height requirement as stated in the CRP grazing plan, or CPO.  Grazing may also be halted if conditions improve, as determined by County Committee.  CRP fields must be left 25% ungrazed or grazed at no more than 75% of the established stocking rate.

Emergency haying is available on all CRP practices EXCEPT for certain practices in counties also approved for LFP.  One cutting will be allowed and 50% of each field will be left unhayed for wildlife.  Hay must be removed within 15 days and can’t be sold.

CRP acreage can’t be both hayed and grazed in the same year. There will be no 2020 CRP annual rental payment reduction. CRP participants may use the hay or grazing option for their own livestock or lease the rights to hay or graze to another livestock producer.  Livestock must be removed from the acreage within one day after the end of the authorized emergency grazing period.

CRP participants who would like to perform emergency harvesting or grazing on their CRP contract MUST submit a request through their local FSA county office prior to taking any action.  NRCS will develop a modified Conservation Plan of Operation (CPO).

Contact your local USDA Service Center for more details and information about both LFP and CRP Emergency Harvesting and Grazing and to submit your request for needed assistance.

Contact: Kitra Cooper, Kitra.cooper@ks.usda.gov, 785-564-4740

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