Livestock owners may qualify for compensation for death loss resulting from the blizzard.
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide compensation to eligible commercial livestock owners for above normal annual livestock death loss resulting from extreme or abnormal weather, including blizzards, extreme cold, and floods. However, the occurrence of adverse weather does automatically qualify you for compensation.
Livestock owners must prove the livestock died or sustained injuries as a direct result of the event and the death loss is in excess of normal mortality as defined by the USDA. Normal mortality rates for beef cattle are 1.5% for an adult beef cow or bull, 1% for a non-adult weighing 800 pounds or more, 2% for non-adult weighing between 400 and 799 pounds, and 5% for a non-adult weighing less than 400 pounds. Documentation starts with beginning year inventory records such as purchase records or veterinary records of the fall pregnancy check and should also include calving and production records. Next, document all deaths including the current physical location of livestock in inventory, the location of the livestock at the time of death, the date of death, exact cause of the death including specific weather conditions, the species of livestock, the age class, the weight range, dated video or photographs of the carcass, and any notes describing the circumstances. Documenting all deaths is important because the mortality rate is for the entire year and not just the weather event. Finally, the County Committees responsible for approving LIP applications like to see documentation of management and husbandry practices that were utilized to prevent loss.
Livestock owners must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of the loss. A phone call to the county office works for this notification. Next, you must file an application for payment within 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred. Payments are based on national payment rates that are 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock and only apply to losses that exceed the normal mortality rates. Lastly, the Livestock Indemnity Program also applies to wildfire, extreme heat, lightning, larkspur poisoning, and more.
For more information about the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) or to file losses, contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/livestock-indemnity/index.