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Losing cattle from the heat?

The current heat wave is really slamming cattle herds around the Midwest.

“In some cases, producers have reported just one or two cattle dying, but reports of larger losses are starting to trickle in,” said Dal Grooms, communications director for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. "Producers are working hard to protect their cattle by providing shade, extra water, and sprinkling systems, and that is where their efforts need to be right now."

If your herd's been hit with losses related to the triple-digit temperatures, you may be eligible for assistance from USDA. "Once this heat has passed, [producers] need to concentrate on reporting any of their losses through the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) at their local FSA office."

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides "benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths inexcess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather" between January of 2008 and this October. These losses do include those caused by "extreme heat," according to USDA, adding eligibility requirements are producers of animals that:

  • Died as a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011 and no later than 60 calendar days from the ending date of the applicable adverse weather event and; in the calendar year for which benefits are requested;
  • Have been maintained for commercial use as part of a farming operation on the day they died and;
  • Have not been produced for reasons other than commercial use as part of a farming operation. Excluded livestock includes wild free roaming animals, pets or animals used for recreational purposes, such as hunting, roping or for show.

If you're eligible, your payments will be calculated by "multiplying the national payment rate for each livestock category by the number of eligible livestock in each category.

"USDA bases the LIP national payment rate for eligible livestock contract growers on 75% of the average income loss sustained by the contract grower with respect to the dead livestock," according to USDA.

Producers who suffer livestock death losses should submit a notice of loss and an application for payment to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) service center that maintains the farm records for their business, according to Iowa State University Extension beef program specialist Denise Schwab. "This application needs to be made within 30 calendar days after the loss of livestock was apparent to the producer," she says.

"To be eligible for LIP, the livestock must be owned by the producer and raised for commercial use as part of a farming operation. Pets or recreational animals do not qualify,” Schwab adds. “Contract swine or poultry growers also may qualify for lost livestock if they have a written agreement with the livestock owner setting the specific terms, conditions and obligations of the parties involved."


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