The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia repeated his appeal to livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as the drought in the West and the unexpected winter storms in the upper Midwest to keep thorough records. This includes livestock and feed losses, and any additional expenses that are a result of losses to purchased forage or feed stuff.
“The 2014 Farm Bill provides a strong farm safety net to help ranchers during these difficult times,” Garcia said. “We’ll provide producers with information on new program requirements, updates and signups as the information becomes available. In the meantime, I urge producers to keep thorough records. We know these disasters have caused serious economic hardships for our livestock producers. We’ll do all we can to assist in their recovery.”
In addition to western drought and the early-winter snowstorms, there are a variety of disasters from floods to storms to unexpected freezes. Each event causes economic consequences for farmers and ranchers throughout the United States. FSA recommends that owners and producers record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:
· Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses;
· Dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts;
· Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures;
· Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed;
· Crop records, including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records;
· Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters; and
· Evidence of damaged farm land.