Emergency livestock assistance program expanded to transportation costs

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, USDA announced the expansion of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program (ELAP), to provide coverage for feed transportation costs, in addition to water transportation costs.

The program already provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events, or loss conditions as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

ELAP already covers the cost of hauling water during drought, but this change expands the program beginning with the current year (2021) to cover feed transportation costs where grazing and hay resources have been depleted.

Under the expanded coverage, producers will be reimbursed for 60 percent of feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year. Feed transportation costs incurred at any time during the calendar year will be eligible for assistance.

Producers will be eligible if they have experienced drought intensity of D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor; drought intensity of D3 (extreme drought) or greater; or where USDA has determined a shortage of local or regional feed availability.

Cost-share assistance will also be made available to cover the eligible cost of treating hay or feed to prevent the spread of invasive pests like fire ants.

A national cost formula, as established by USDA, will be used to determine reimbursement costs which will not include the first 25 miles and distances exceeding 1,000 miles.

The calculation will also exclude the normal cost to transport hay or feed if the producer normally purchases some feed.

For 2021, the initial cost formula of $6.60 per mile will be used (before the percentage is applied) but may be adjusted on a state or regional basis, and the deadline to apply is January 31, 2022.

(SOURCE: All Ag News)

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