Food producers who suffered disaster-related losses of livestock, fish, bees and certain trees have until Dec. 3 to apply for relief programs, the Idaho USDA Farm Service Agency says.

Losses in calendar years 2017 and 2018 may qualify, Acting State Executive Director Brian Dansel said in a news release.

Qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers have until Dec. 3, or 90 days after the event or date when the loss of trees became apparent — whichever is later — to submit an application and supporting documentation through USDA’s Tree Assistance Program to cover losses for 2017 or 2018. The program provides financial assistance for replanting or rehabilitating eligible trees, bushes and vines lost to natural disasters. Mortality loss exceeding 15 percent on a stand, adjusted for normal mortality, triggers payment eligibility.

USDA’s Livestock Indemnity Program compensates eligible livestock owners or contract growers for livestock deaths exceeding normal mortality or for injury resulting in reduced value caused by an eligible loss condition. Notices of eligible losses in 2017 and 2018 must be filed by Dec. 3 or within 30 days of when the loss is first apparent, whichever is later. Applications for payment must be filed by Dec. 3 if the loss occurred in 2017 and by next March 1 if the loss occurred in 2018.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish program loss notices and payment applications are due by Dec. 3 at local FSA offices for losses from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2018. Adverse weather, disease, water shortages, wildfire and other loss conditions may qualify producers for this financial assistance, which is generally provided for losses that other disaster-assistance programs do not cover.

Dansel said a February federal budget law eliminated some funding caps and limitations, allowing producers to apply for assistance on 2017 losses if they had reached payment limitations under earlier rules. Producers who already received decisions on 2017 applications can reapply if they experienced additional losses or were denied because they filed a loss notice late, he said.


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