DAVIS, Calif. — A federal agency here is urging California livestock and dairy producers to keep good records of drought-related losses so they can apply for aid under the new Farm Bill.
The USDA’s Farm Service Agency advises producers to keep track of livestock and feed losses as well as additional expenses for supplemental feed.
“It’s really just a prelude to the livestock forage program we’re going to roll out next month,” FSA state director Val Dolcini said. “We want to be sure that on the producer side … that people are prepared and ready to go for this important sign-up for livestock operations throughout California.”
The push follows last month’s announcement by President Barack Obama that $100 million in livestock-disaster aid will be made available from the 2014 Farm Bill. One of the first programs passed and signed was a livestock forage program to defray the costs of feed.
“It will be a pretty significant program,” Dolcini said. “It’s also going to be retroactive to the 2013 and 2012 years as well. Between mid-April and probably the early part of the summer, county offices all over California will be busy taking applications and making payments under the program.”
The FSA recommends that ranchers document the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records. Producers should record the dates of death, supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts, a news release advises.
In addition, producers should keep track of the costs of moving livestock to new pastures or safer grounds, feed purchases, crop records including seed and fertilizer purchases, pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters, and evidence of damaged farmland, the release states.
USDA Farm Service Agency, California:
Farm Bill implementation: www.usda.gov/farmbill