Weather Alert

USDA to Provide Payments to Livestock Producers Impacted by Drought or Wildfire

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that ranchers who have approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for forage losses due to severe drought or wildfire in 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments for increases in supplemental feed costs in 2021 through the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP). 

“Producers of grazing livestock experienced catastrophic losses of available forage as well as higher costs for supplemental feed in 2021. 

Unfortunately, the conditions driving these losses have not improved for many and have even worsened for some, as drought spreads across the U.S.,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “In order to deliver much-needed assistance as efficiently as possible, phase one of the ELRP will use certain data from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), allowing USDA to distribute payments within days to livestock producers.” 

To be eligible for an ELRP payment under phase one of program delivery, 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 2021 LFP. 

Additionally, producers whose permitted grazing on federally managed lands was disallowed due to wildfire are also eligible for ELRP payments, if they applied and were approved for 2021 LFP. 

Due to the persistent drought conditions in the Great Plains and West, FSA will be offering additional relief through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) (PDF, 783 KB) to help ranchers cover above normal costs of hauling livestock to forage. 

This policy enhancement complements previously announced ELAP compensation for hauling feed to livestock. Soon after FSA announced the assistance for hauling feed to livestock, stakeholders were quick to point out that producers also were hauling the livestock to the feed source as well and encouraged this additional flexibility. 

It is important to note that, unlike ELRP emergency relief benefits which are only applicable for eligible losses incurred in the 2021 calendar year, this ELAP livestock and feed hauling compensation will not only be retroactive for 2021 but will also be available for losses in 2022 and subsequent years.



Connect With Us Listen To Us On