President George Bush signed the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill that included a $3-billion, ag-disaster assistance program. It would provide assistance to farmers and ranchers nationwide who experienced serious losses in 2005-2007.

According to the House Ag Committee, the quantity loss threshold for eligibility is 35% and the payment rate is set at 42% of the established crop insurance price. Only producers with crop insurance coverage or who signed up for the Non-Insured Assistance Program would be eligible for assistance. The 95% crop value cap and deduction for crop insurance indemnities would be in place.

The bill includes a Livestock Compensation Program (LCP) that provides benefits for producers in designated disaster counties for their added costs of procuring livestock feed in 2005, 2006 or 2007 (up to Feb. 28, 2007). The payment rate is 61% of the payment made under the LCP announced in the Federal Register notice dated Feb. 12, 2007. Eligible livestock under that announcement are: adult or non-adult dairy cattle, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, equine, poultry, elk, reindeer, sheep, goats, swine, deer, catfish and other livestock the USDA Secretary may designate.

In addition, a Livestock Indemnity Program would be available to cover livestock deaths caused by a natural disaster or related condition that occurred in 2005, 2006 or 2007 (up to Feb. 28, 2007), including losses due to hurricanes, floods, wildfires, blizzards and anthrax. The payment rate is to be not less than 26% of market value of the livestock on the day before the date of death, as determined by the USDA Secretary.