The massive snow storm that covered half of the United States, producing two feet of snow in some parts of the Midwest and bringing a wintery mix of ice and snow in the Northeastern parts of the nation, could also cause serious harm to livestock.
With some pasture and forage areas destroyed with the remnants of what has been labeled “Snowmageddon,” many producers also are losing their animals to cold and hypothermia, and are seeking ways to help recuperate their losses.
As Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess and I agree, this is turning out to be a tough winter for many ranchers and farmers in the nation’s heartland, and learning about our FSA programs is an important step for producers to take. We need producers to document the number and kind of livestock that have died as a direct result of these winter storms and timely notify their local FSA office of these losses. There may be situations where producers are transporting feed to their livestock. Producers should document these additional costs.
Several programs that include the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program are offered through the Farm Service Agency to help producers recover from livestock deaths and loss of forage and food supplies due to emergency situations.
The Livestock Indemnity Program provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths caused by adverse weather conditions including blizzards and extreme cold.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock that suffered losses due to adverse weather conditions. This program covers losses not covered by other FSA programs such as the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Payment program, Livestock Indemnity and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance program.
We encourage all who fear they may have losses because of conditions that are still developing to read the fact sheets and visit with their local FSA county office staff so they get a quick start in the recovery process.
For producers looking to sell or buy hay, USDA offers an online service called Hay Net that matches producers with hay to those who need hay. The site is secure and protects the privacy of individuals.