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Published December 16, 2009, 12:00 AM

Emergency assistance available for honey bee producers in area

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that producers may begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP).

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that producers may begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP).

ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of honey bees that experience losses due to: disease, adverse weather, or other conditions (such as colony collapse). Eligible losses must have occurred on or after January 1, 2008 and in the same calendar year for which benefits are being requested.

To be eligible for honey bee loss benefits, you must have incurred losses due to an eligible adverse weather or loss condition in the county where the eligible weather condition occurred. Applicants will be required to provide documentation of beginning and ending inventory of honey bee

colonies when claiming a

physical loss.

If claiming a loss due to colony collapse disorder, applicants must provide documentation of those physical losses from a registered entomologist, co-op extension specialist, Land Grant University or similar creditable source.

If approved, physical losses will be compensated at 60 percent of the actual replacement cost or market value of the bees purchases.

All applicants filing for ELAP benefits must have obtained honey coverage through the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or have participated in the Buy-In, which allowed producers who missed the NAP sign-up to be eligible for disaster programs. Any producer that did not purchase NAP or Buy-In will not be eligible to participate.

The ELAP application consists of two parts: a Notice of Loss and an Application for Payment. Both are required elements. Standard eligibility requirements apply and include such items as: certifying your adjusted gross income, filing a farm operating plan, reporting your inventory changes, and complying with highly erodible land and wetland provisions.

For losses between September 14, 2009 and December 31, 2009, a Notice of Loss must be filed no later than 30 days after the loss is apparent to the producer and an Application for Payment must be filed no later than January 30, 2010.

For any losses suffered after December 31, 2009, a Notice of Loss must be filed either within 30 days of when the loss is apparent to the producer or within 30 days after the end of the calendar year in which the loss occurred, whichever comes first. An Application for Payment must be filed no later than January 30, 2011 for the 2010 year and January 30, 2012 for the 2011 year.

It is recommended that you call the Douglas County FSA office at (320) 763-3191 extionsion 2 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment, as 2008 ELAP applications must be filed by December 10, 2009; there are no late filed provisions. Also, call with any questions you may have regarding the program.

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