Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that eligible ranchers and livestock producers can begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the Livestock Indemnity Program in the 2008 Farm Bill on July 13.

“This program will provide livestock producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the damaging financial impact of natural disasters,” Vilsack said. The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths that result from disaster. Using funds from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund established under section 902 of the Trade Act of 1974, the program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA).

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. Eligible losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011.