Livestock Disaster Assistance

The early October 2013 winter storm in the Black Hills and western South Dakota caused devastating livestock losses for area ranchers. More than 40,000 head of livestock were lost due to winter storm Atlas. Below are answers to frequently asked questions related to livestock disaster assistance.

Disaster Assistance FAQ

Is disaster assistance for livestock death losses due to natural disasters available?

Yes. The 2014 Farm Bill, which passed the U.S. Senate on February 4, 2014 and was signed into law by the president on February 7, 2014, included permanent funding and authority for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP). I authored the LIP, LFP, and ELAP for the 2008 Farm Bill and worked to ensure that these programs were also included in the 2014 Farm Bill.

On February 8, 2014, I sent a bipartisan letter, along with several of my Senate colleagues, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighting the need to swiftly implement the livestock disaster programs authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. On February 14, 2014, the president and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that signup for the livestock disaster programs would begin on April 15, 2014. Sign-up for all three livestock disaster programs began April 15, 2014, and is continuing.

Signup for LIP, LFP, and ELAP takes place at your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.  FSA offices will accept applications for eligible livestock death losses that occurred in 2012 and 2013 through January 30, 2015.

As of June of 2014, more than 6,100 South Dakota livestock producers had received $96 million for grazing losses and livestock losses under LFP and LIP.

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How are LIP payments calculated?
LIP indemnifies eligible producers at a rate of 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the death of the livestock. USDA makes annual adjustments to the LIP payment rate for each type of livestock based on current markets. Provided all eligibility requirements are met, qualifying producers can receive up to $125,000 per person for each year’s livestock disaster program losses. A husband/wife operation may be eligible to receive up to $250,000. return to top
What if I have grazing losses?
The LFP authorizes grazing loss assistance for livestock owners who can prove they pastured livestock in eligible counties. LFP provides assistance for 2012, 2013, and future years’ grazing losses. Producers should contact their local FSA office to see whether their county qualifies for assistance. return to top
What do I need to do to apply?
Applications are accepted at FSA county offices. FSA offices will provide applicants information regarding the type of documentation necessary to apply for LIP, LFP, and ELAP. Due to the large volume of applications, FSA requests that producers contact the FSA county office to schedule appointments. return to top
Where can I find more information on LIP and other Farm Bill programs?
More information on LIP can be found in FSA’s Fact Sheet found here. Additional fact sheets on other Farm Bill programs can be found here.   return to top

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