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Federal drought assistance payments set to go out

Ranchers who have approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program for forage losses because of drought or wildfire will soon get the payments, USDA said on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

An black bull grazes in a drying pasture.
Livestock producers impacted by the 2021 drought may receive disaster funding from Farm Service Agency soon.
Jenny Schlecht / Agweek
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WASHINGTON — Federal livestock disaster assistance payments are set to begin going out next week to help ranchers recover from drought in 2021.

The U.S Department of Agriculture on Thursday, March 31, announced that ranchers who have approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program for forage losses because of drought or wildfire will soon get the payments.

The payments are coming through the Farm Service Agency’s new Emergency Livestock Relief Program .

To be eligible for a payment under phase one of the program, livestock producers must have suffered grazing losses in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks or a D3 (extreme drought) or higher level of drought intensity during the 2021 calendar year, and have applied and been approved for the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program, also known as LFP. Producers whose grazing permits on federal lands were disallowed because of wildfire also are eligible.

Producers should contact their FSA county office or visit farmers.gov for more information.

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FSA received more than 100,000 applications totaling nearly $670 million in payments to livestock producers under LFP for the 2021 program year.

Payments will be equal to 75% of a livestock producer’s gross 2021 LFP payment or 90% for historically underserved producers, including beginning, limited resource and veteran farmers.

The $750 million available for payments comes from the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act that was signed by President Joe Biden in September.

While the livestock assistance is part of phase one of disaster assistance, FSA is developing a second phase to provide assistance to diversified, row crop and specialty crop operations that also were impacted by a natural disaster in 2020 or 2021.

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