Julia A. Wickard, executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Indiana, reminds livestock and poultry producers throughout the state that FSA programs may be available to assist them.
Many farmers are dealing with inclement weather, which is causing serious harm to livestock and forage due to heavy rain, flooding and storms.
"This is turning out to be a tough spring for many farmers in Indiana, and learning about our FSA programs is an important step for producers to take," Wickard said. "We need producers to document the number and kind of livestock that have died as a direct result of these spring storms and timely notify their local FSA office of these losses."
FSA administers several programs that help producers recover from livestock deaths that are beyond normal mortality rates, losses of purchased and/or harvested forage, and with the additional costs of providing or transporting feed. Among the key programs are the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).
To be eligible for assistance for livestock death loss or feed losses, producers must file a notice of loss with their local FSA office within 30 calendar days from when the loss is apparent to the producer.
Fact sheets for these two programs can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov; click on Newsroom, then Fact Sheets.
Wickard also encourages producers to use Hay Net on the FSA website, an online service that allows producers with hay and those who need hay to post ads so they can make connections.
Hay Net is a popular site for farmers who have an emergency need, such as the one caused by the recent spring storms. Individual ads can be posted free of charge by producers who complete a simple online registration the first time they use the site.
"We encourage all who have suffered losses due to adverse spring weather to read the fact sheets and visit with their local FSA county office staff so they can get a quick start in the recovery process," Wickard added.