By Patti Finke
Special to The SUN
Leland Swenson, state executive director of the Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that farmers and ranchers can sign up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday, April 15.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock grazing and death losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In addition, enrollment also begins on April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) in 2011, when the programs expired, through 2014.
LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire. LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as wildfires. TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
“To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to bring records documenting those losses to their local FSA county office,” said Swenson.
Producers also are encouraged to contact their county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment. A complete directory of Colorado FSA Offices can be located online at www.fsa.usda.gov/co.
For more information, producers are encouraged to review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, or visit the 2014 Farm Bill webpage.