Livestock Disaster Assistance
Western South Dakota experienced a devastating winter storm in the first week of October. The livestock loss will have a large impact on these owners and producers. Initial estimates are that tens of thousands of cattle were lost in this early season storm.
- What should producers do first?
- Are there any Farm Bill programs available to assist producers?
- Where can I go for assistance with removing carcasses?
- 1. What should producers do first?
Producers must verify their inventory and losses and document as best as possible where those losses took place. Producers should take pictures, write down lost cattle’s ID tag numbers if available, and get a head count. Additionally, producers should be sure to have a third disinterested party verify their losses. This could be a neighbor, veterinarian, or someone other than a family member or paid farm or ranch employee. These third party verifiers should visually see the losses and write, sign, and date a note stating their name and verifying that they saw the losses and the number of cattle lost.
Producers should also keep any rendering receipts as another way to have a third party verify their losses.
If you have questions regarding livestock identification, please contact the South Dakota Brand Board at # (605) 773-3324.
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- 2. Are there any Farm Bill programs available to assist producers?
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
The pending Farm Bill includes a livestock disaster program that helps cover animal loss due to weather disasters such as droughts and floods. Like the 2008 Farm Bill, LIP in the House version of the Farm Bill pays producers at 75% of the fair market value on the day before the death of the animal for eligible animal losses. The Senate Farm Bill covers these programs at 65%. Both versions cover producers retroactively, so once a Farm Bill is signed into law, ranchers could receive assistance for these losses.
Rep. Noem has championed this provision in the House and is working to keep it in the final version before it is signed into law.
Because of this, it is imperative that producers carefully document any livestock losses so they are eligible for any future assistance.return to top
- 3. Where can I go for assistance with removing carcasses?
The South Dakota Animal Industry Board (AIB) will be coordinating disposal of livestock carcasses. Brand Board inspectors will be involved in identifying livestock and livestock carcasses.
For carcass disposal information, contact the AIB at # (605) 773-3321. Disposal guidelines are available here.return to top
Rep. Noem on AgriTalk Radio
Rep. Noem joined Mike Adams of AgriTalk Radio to discuss updates on the farm bill.