The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is urging livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac to keep thorough records of their livestock and feed losses, including additional expenses for such things as feed purchases because of lost supplies.

“There are extraordinary circumstances caused by a variety of disasters from fires in the west, floods in Florida, Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf region, storms in the Mid-Atlantic and drought and heat affecting the heartland,” said FSA Administrator Juan M. Garcia. “Each of these events is causing economic consequences for ranchers and producers including cattle, sheep and dairy operations, bee keepers and farm-raised fish, and poultry producers.”

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.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also reminds producers that the department’s authority to operate the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 farm bill expired on Sept. 30, 2011. This includes SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.