Hoeven: USDA Allows Insurance Providers to Waive Livestock Risk Protection Requirements

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow insurance providers under the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) program to waive the 30-day ownership requirement, subject to proof of ownership. Generally, ag producers insured under LRP that sell cattle less than 30 days before the end of their policy would not be eligible for an indemnity payment. By allowing this waiver, USDA is providing greater flexibility for small producers in timing the sale of livestock and helping them through the drought.

“Our ranchers need access to every available tool to help them in this difficult time,” said Hoeven. “Flexibility in the LRP program will help our producers to sell livestock as they need without losing the value of their insurance policies.”

On Friday, Hoeven convened a roundtable with the directors of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and ranchers to outline options for producers facing drought across the state. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven is working to ensure ranchers have access to emergency measures to help them weather the drought and maintain their operations. The senator has helped secure the following drought resources:

CRP Emergency Grazing and Haying

Just this week, USDA approved Hoeven’s request to allow emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres beginning July 16. The approval enables emergency haying and grazing in counties experiencing drought conditions of D2 or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor, as well as emergency haying in any county within 150 miles of a D2 county.

This follows a letter from Hoeven and the delegation, which also resulted in USDA opening CRP lands for emergency grazing. The agency subsequently provided greater flexibility for grazers and opened CRP lands in all 53 North Dakota counties. Interested producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to access eligible acres.  

NRCS Wetland Restoration Acres Haying and Grazing

On Friday, Hoeven announced that NRCS acres are also available for haying and grazing. Ranchers should visit their county NRCS office to submit paperwork to access these acres, which are lands that farmers have enrolled in 30-year easements with NRCS under the Wetland Restoration Easement program.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program

Hoeven recently announced that ranchers in counties experiencing drought in D3 or higher categories are immediately eligible for payments under the Livestock Forage Disaster program. For counties under D2 intensity, eligibility begins after eight consecutive weeks of drought. County information for North Dakota can be found here at the U.S. Drought Monitor.

FSA Emergency Assistance

The USDA has since designated counties in the state as natural disaster areas due to the drought, making additional assistance available for farm and ranch operators. This includes emergency loans through FSA. Ranchers in affected counties have eight months from the date of the disaster designation to apply.

In addition, USDA has provided producers with FSA loans a 12-month exemption from a requirement that they have physical control of their livestock. This exemption will allow ranchers to weather the drought by moving their livestock to feedlots or other states where they have grass before taking back physical control at a later date.