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Noem applauds USDA's swift implementation of disaster assistance programs


WASHINGTON D.C. (KELO-AM) U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today applauded the USDA’s swift implementation of the farmer and rancher disaster assistance programs that were authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.  This week, the USDA announced farmers and ranchers can begin enrolling for livestock disaster assistance programs on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. 

“I am extremely pleased to see that the USDA and our local Farm Service Agency offices are acting quickly to get the Farm Bill’s disaster relief programs ready for farmers and ranchers,” said Rep. Noem.  “Historic blizzards and droughts have made the last few years very difficult for South Dakota producers and the absence of any disaster assistance has jeopardized generations-old farms and contributed to increased food prices.  The USDA’s swift action shows the importance of these programs to consumers, producers and the American food supply.”

Rep. Noem is the first House member from South Dakota in nearly 20 years to be appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee, which negotiated the Livestock Disaster Programs as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.  The Conference Committee based the Livestock Disaster Programs off the House’s language, which was championed by Rep. Noem. Shortly after the Farm Bill’s passage, Rep. Noem wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to make livestock disaster aid a top priority for the Department. 

The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorizes and strengthens the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP).  These programs will be retroactive for 2012 and 2013 and will extend through the life of the Farm Bill.  Additionally, the legislation raises the benefit cap to $125,000 for a single producer and $250,000 for a married couple.

The Livestock Indemnity Program, which will be most helpful to the South Dakotans who face losses as a result of recent disasters, provides for a 75% fair market value reimbursement rate, an increase over other proposals offered throughout the Farm Bill negotiations. 

Producers are encouraged to contact their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office ahead of April 15 to schedule an appointment to enroll.  The USDA has explained that to expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs. Information on the types of records necessary can be provided by local FSA county offices.

More information on the programs can be found here:http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/2014_farm_bill_customers.pdf

The USDA has also provided Fact Sheets for producers on each program:

  Permalink: http://noem.house.gov/index.cfm/2014/4/noem-applauds-usda-s-swift-implementation-of-disaster-assistance-programs