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Montana Ag Network: Winter weather livestock loss may be covered by livestock indemnity program

Posted at 6:26 AM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 08:32:04-05

BOZEMAN – It’s been another tough winter for a lot of people in Montana, especially livestock producers.

As winter continues and calving season is either near or underway, the Farm Service Agency reminds ranchers that help is available for livestock losses.

“LIP is the Livestock Indemnity Program,” said Dee Arneson, FSA agricultural program specialist in Bozeman. “We offer assistance to our farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock due to a natural disaster.”

Eligible losses do not automatically trigger payments. Livestock owners must provide evidence of such losses, which includes recording the date, taking pictures, and reporting it directly to the Farm Service Agency.

“Our disaster programs depend on that documentation to tie them back to that weather event,” said Arneson. “Without that, we’re not able to tie them back to that loss event and make a payment to them.”

The livestock indemnity program also offered ranchers assistance during last year’s brutal winter.

“Last year was an awful calving season with the harsh winter we suffered,” said Arneson. “Currently, we’ve paid $4.2 million out to our 2018 losses.”

Livestock losses can be filed with FSA via email, phone, fax, or office visit.

“They can file their application for payment immediately or they can wait and file it at the end of the year,” said Arneson. “They have 60 days after the end of the calendar year to file that application for payment.”

For more information on the livestock indemnity program and other disaster programs, farmers and ranchers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.

-Russell Nemetz reporting for the Montana Ag Network