Hoeven, FSA Administrator Outline New ELAP Coverage for Producers' Feed Transportation Costs During Drought
BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today hosted Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux to outline 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.
Hoeven hosted Ducheneaux in North Dakota earlier this summer to hear directly from farmers and ranchers facing severe drought conditions. Since then, the Senator has been working with Administrator Ducheneaux to expand ELAP to include coverage of feed transportation costs. This new ELAP coverage will supplement the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), which provides payments to producers for the cost of hay.
Hoeven and Ducheneaux were joined by North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Executive Vice President of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Julie Ellingson, and Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND) Board Member Larry Kinev to highlight the importance of the new expanded ELAP coverage for livestock producers.
“We’ve been working to provide our farmers and ranchers with additional tools to help them through the severe drought conditions,” said Hoeven. “We hosted Administrator Ducheneaux in North Dakota earlier this summer to hear directly from our producers about their needs. Following that meeting, we’ve been working with the administrator to expand ELAP to cover not only the cost of hauling water, but the increased costs of transporting feed. 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 is working to pass:
- $7 billion in disaster assistance in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture Appropriations legislation. The legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee at the beginning of August with:
- $6.28 billion in disaster assistance to aid producers who suffered losses due to droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other qualifying disasters. The funding will extend WHIP+ to cover losses in calendar years 2020 and 2021.
- $750 million for livestock producers for losses incurred during 2021 due to drought or wildfire. This disaster assistance, the first specifically for livestock producers since 2008, will build on top of existing farm bill programs for livestock producers.
- Hoeven-Tester Livestock Disaster Relief Act to improve LFP and ELAP.
- Increases assistance under LFP to more accurately compensate producers for forage losses.
- Makes changes to ELAP to ensure it complements LFP by covering transportation costs for forage and water.
To date, the Senator has secured:
- Emergency procedures and new flexibilities from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for crop insurance providers to help ensure quick and fair adjustments and payments to producers.
- Hoeven pressed for this flexibility during his recent drought tour with RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy, and it comes as part of the senator’s efforts to help producers weather severe drought conditions in North Dakota.
- Providing flexibility to farmers when utilizing cover crops, which provide an additional source of feed for livestock producers.
- Following Acting Administrator Flournoy’s visit to North Dakota, RMA announced it will allow producers to hay, graze or chop cover crops on prevented plant acres at any time while still receiving their full crop insurance indemnity.
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