Winston County has been designated as suffering from an extreme drought also known as (D3) by the U. S. Drought Monitor. This means that livestock producers will be eligible for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). This program is to compensate livestock producers for grazing losses during the drought. This compensation can be used to purchase hay and feed to substitute for lost grazing.
The FSA will begin accepting applications on November 1 and continue until January 30, 2017. Producers will need to have their livestock inventory on hand as of August 26, 2016. Specifically, they will need the number of adult cows, bulls, and bred heifers, and the number of heifers and young bulls over 500 pounds. Goats and sheep, and some other kinds of grazing livestock are also eligible. Horses used for breeding and for sale may be eligible, however, those used for recreation, pleasure, or show are not. The producer should have any sales tickets for livestock that were sold after August 26, 2016.
Leased acreage must have a signed written lease agreement, even if no rent is charged on the pasture. The FSA has a sample lease form that may be used for this purpose. The grazing acreage should be identified on an aerial photograph. If the grazing acreage was not certified by November, 2015, then there will be a $46 late filing fee per farm.
If the producer has not previously signed up on other FSA programs, he or she will need their Social Security number, mailing address, phone number, email address, and a blank voided check to sign up for direct deposit. The FSA recommends that producers call the office before visiting in person, so that they can pull some of the required documents prior to the visit.
For more information on the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, please call the Farm Service Agency at (205) 921-3103, ext 2.