The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that eligible farmers and ranchers who suffered livestock, livestock feed and crop losses that occurred before Dec. 31, 2007, can apply to receive disaster payments beginning today. The extended qualifying dates from Feb. 28, 2007 until the Dec. 31 date was a result of language included in the omnibus appropriations act signed Dec. 26 by the President.
The Farm Service Agency is now accepting applications and making payments for quantity losses before Dec. 31, 2007, under the Crop Disaster Program. FSA is currently issuing Livestock Compensation Program and Livestock Indemnity Program payments for losses up to Feb. 28, 2007, and will soon issue payments for losses incurred during the remainder of 2007. FSA will conduct sign-up and begin making payments for quality losses under CDP this spring. More information about CDP, LCP and LIP is available online at: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
The Dairy Disaster Assistance Payment (DDAP-III) Program, which provides benefits to eligible dairy producers for production losses suffered as a result of natural disasters since Jan. 1, 2005, has also been extended by the 2008 Act to cover, in addition, any 2007 disaster occurring before Dec. 31, 2007. As a result, DDAP-III sign-up, which began Dec. 3, 2007, was temporarily suspended until automation, policy, procedure and other administrative items could be updated accordingly. DDAP-III program sign-up will resume Feb. 4, 2008.
The 2008 Act also extends FSA's authority to administer the Conservation Reserve Program and marketing loan benefits for wool and mohair through March 15, 2008. It also allows the Milk Price Support Program to continue operating at current price support levels through March 15, 2008. Under the 2002 Farm Bill, USDA's authority to administer these three programs expired on Dec. 31, 2007. Additionally, the 2008 Act provides $3.3 billion in direct and guaranteed loan funds for FSA's Farm Loan Programs.