By MATTHEW WEAVER

Capital Press

The USDA Risk Management Agency has waived a requirement for some livestock producers in reaction to the drought that hit much of the nation.

When he buys a livestock risk protection policy, a producer selects a date to take animals to market. Usually, the owner must take the animal to market within 30 days of that date.

Now, however, the agency has announced that approved insurance providers, at their discretion, may waive the 30-day requirement.

"We know, nationwide, the drought is affecting everyone," said Jo Lynne Seufer, risk management specialist for the agency's office in Spokane.

Policies purchased Aug. 2, 2011, through Aug. 16, 2012, would be eligible for the waiver, subject to verification of proof of ownership.

Producers who are in a drought, have a lack of feed or whose grazing land was destroyed by wildfire may sell their animals before the date they chose.

Seufer isn't certain how many Pacific Northwest producers are affected or will be interested. The waiver impacts producers who obtained endorsements for fed cattle, feeder cattle, swine and lamb in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The program helps the producers lock in a price on an animal, while the waiver helps them sell quicker because of the drought, Seufer said.

The policy is a price protection tool and does not protect against mortality. If cattle die, Seufer said, producers need to report that to their insurance agency.

She encouraged producers to visit their insurance agent to learn details specific to their livestock risk protection policy.

Online

A list of livestock insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers throughout the United States or on the RMA Web site http://www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/

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