Val Dolcini, state executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in California announced that USDA has already made more than $175 million in disaster payments to America's livestock producers after implementing two new programs in 2009. USDA leaders have expressed a commitment to rapidly meeting the goals of Congress and to provide farmers and ranchers with timely and effective disaster assistance. FSA is continuing to make payments to livestock producers for 2008 and 2009 livestock losses.

"America's farmers and ranchers deserve efficient and effective assistance programs to help get through natural disasters," said Dolcini. "USDA worked hard to get these new programs up and running quickly so we could achieve our goal of helping producers recover losses rapidly and more thoroughly."

Under the standing provisions of the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), authorized in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (farm bill), producers are better able to recover from their losses stemming from 2008 and subsequent disasters. The 2008 farm bill provisions replace previous ad-hoc disaster assistance programs and are funded through the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund.

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