Farms Get Help after Winter Storms

Brian Seay

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — Farmers who found the winter storm last week to be costly could get some federal help.

The ELAP, or the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program, is aimed at reimbursing farmers for extra expenses – such as emergency feed costs – incurred during extreme disasters such as last week’s snow storm.

Farm Service Agency administrator Jonathan Coppess describes another program:

“LIP is the Livestock Indemnity Program, which pays farmers an indemnity payment for livestock above normal mortality,” he said. “So you lose a certain amount of livestock every year, this year because of these winter storms if you’ve lost an amount above that – those additional lost livestock – then FSA will pay an indemnity payment based on the value of what was lost.”

The FSA is an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers now face a deadline to submit their claims.

“Right now, in the wake of storms like this, we just wanted to make certain we got reminders out to farmers that there is the potential for assistance available if they’ve lost livestock or have had to scramble to find some emergency feed that there may be assistance available,” said Coppess. “We encourage that within the next 30 days they get into a local office and check in on it.”

Both programs are part of 2008 legislation at the federal level that aims to help farmers in times of need.

“The ELAP program, the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program has a $50 million total amount available in the fiscal year and so that gets prorated on how much demand there is,” Coppess said. “LIP, the Livestock Indemnity Program, does not have that limit and it would just be dependent on the value of the lost livestock and how much.”

Farmers will need records of payment or veterinary records in the case of lost livestock to file a claim.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

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