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USDA offers cost coverage for ranchers

ELAP livestock and feed hauling assistance is retroactive for 2021 and will be available for losses in 2022 and subsequent years.

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ST. PAUL — Due to persistent drought conditions in the Great Plains and West, the United States Department of Agriculture is offering additional relief. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) helps ranchers cover above normal costs of hauling livestock to forage or other grazing acres.

ELAP livestock and feed hauling assistance is retroactive for 2021 and will be available for losses in 2022 and subsequent years, according to a USDA news release.

ELAP provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. ELAP covers feed transportation costs where grazing and hay resources have been depleted and transportation costs associated with hauling livestock to feed sources, according to the release.

To be eligible for ELAP assistance, livestock must be intended for grazing and producers must have incurred feed or livestock transportation costs on or after Jan. 1, 2021. 

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USDA will reimburse eligible ranchers 60% of livestock transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year. Producers qualifying as underserved will be reimbursed for 90%. For 2021, the initial cost formula of $6.60 per mile will be used (before the percentage is applied).

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Eligible ranchers should contact their Farm Service Agency county office to apply for ELAP assistance by June 30, 2022. For more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/elap .

The deadline to request all ELAP assistance for 2022 calendar year losses is Jan. 31, 2023.

For assistance with a crop insurance claim, contact your crop insurance agent.

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