New ELAP coverage for producer's feed transport cost

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

FSA OUTLINEs NEW ELAP COVERAGE FOR PRODUCERS’ FEED TRANSPORTATION COSTS DURING DROUGHT

BISMARCK –  Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux met with North Dakota Public and leaders to outline what will be the permanent expansion of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program (ELAP) to provide producers impacted by severe drought with 60% reimbursement of their feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year.

This new ELAP coverage, according to Dunchenaux, will supplement the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), which provides payments to producers for the cost of hay.

“We’ve been working to provide our farmers and ranchers with additional tools to help them through the severe drought conditions,” said North Dakota Senator John Hoeven.  "This permanent change to ELAP is an important tool in helping our producers weather the severe drought and with 95% of our state still in severe drought it couldn’t come soon enough.”

FEED TRANSPORTATION ELAP COVERAGE

Previously, ELAP only compensated producers for the cost of hauling water. Now, producers will be eligible for reimbursement of feed transportation costs incurred on or after January 1, 2021 in locations where:

·         Drought intensity is D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor;

·         Drought intensity is D3 (extreme drought) or greater; or

·         USDA has determined a shortage of local or regional feed availability.

The deadline to file an application for payment for the 2021 program year is January 31, 2022. Producers should contact their FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov/elap for more information.

In addition to expanded ELAP coverage, Hoeven said he is also working to is working to pass a $7 billion plan for disaster assistance in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture Appropriations legislation, including 

  •   $6.28 billion in disaster assistance to aid producers who suffered losses due to droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other qualifying disasters. 
  •   $750 million for livestock producers for losses incurred during 2021 due to drought or wildfire.

The livestock disaster assistance funding is the first specifically for livestock producers since 2008 according to state records.