Livestock producers in Otter Tail County and across the state have been affected by harsh winter weather, says Leon Johnson, Farm Service Agency (FSA) West Otter Tail County executive director.
"FSA programs are available to assist them," he said.
Johnson said Feb. 16 that harsh winter weather has caused serious harm to livestock and forage. He said that's because of heavy snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures.
Said Linda Hennen, (FSA) Minnesota State executive director, "This is turning out to be a tough winter for many ranchers and farmers in Minnesota, 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 notify their local FSA office of these losses."
She said there may be situations where producers are transporting feed to their livestock. Producers should document these additional costs.
Johnson said the 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 the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).
"For livestock death losses to be eligible under LIP, 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," said Johnson.
Fact sheets for these two programs can be found at http://www.fsa.usda.gov. Click on Newsroom, then Fact Sheets.
Added Hennen, "We encourage all who have suffered a disaster due to the recent cold weather and blizzards to read the fact sheets and visit with their local FSA county office staff so they get a quick start in the recovery process."