A number of permanent livestock disaster programs – authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill – got started last week.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFDP) provides payments to eligible livestock producers who suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire.

For drought, the losses must have occurred on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or a crop planted specifically for grazing for covered livestock due to a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the specific type of grazing land in the county.

For fire, LFDP provides payments to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses on rangeland managed by a federal agency if the eligible livestock producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing the normal permitted livestock on the managed rangeland due to a qualifying fire.

Eligible livestock under LFP include: beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine. For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires. ELAP assistance is for losses not covered under other Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs established by the 2008 farm bill, specifically LFDP, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE). ELAP is being implemented to fill in the gap and provide assistance under other conditions determined to be appropriate.

For both programs, producers must have suffered losses that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. There's a total $100,000/crop year limitation that applies to payments received under ELAP, LFDP, LIP or SURE. You can find the specifics at your FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.