Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of USDA's Farm  Service Agency (FSA) in Kansas, reminds eligible ranchers and livestock producers to apply under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for losses incurred during the 2011 grazing season up to October 1, 2011.

    The following counties meet the LFP trigger requirements for native and improved grasses:  Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Ford, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Kiowa, McPherson, Morton, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Sedgwick, Stafford, Stanton, and Stevens. Additional counties could be become eligible later depending on the U.S. Drought Monitor rating.

    An eligible livestock producer that owns or leases grazing land or pastureland physically located in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a:
*    D2 (severe drought) intensity in any area of the county for at least eight consecutive weeks during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance in an amount equal to one monthly payment.
*    D3 (extreme drought) intensity in any area of the county at any time during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance in an amount equal to two monthly payments.
*    D3 (extreme drought) intensity in any area of the county for at least four weeks during the normal grazing period or is rated a D4 (exceptional drought) intensity at any time during the normal grazing period is eligible to receive assistance in an amount equal to three monthly payments.

    An LFP applicant must have purchased insurance coverage through FSA's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance-Rainfall Index for Grazing (PRF-RI) program offered through the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Eligible farmers and ranchers who meet the definition of socially disadvantaged, limited resource, or beginning farmer or rancher do not have to meet this requirement. In addition to risk management provisions, certain payment limitation and adjusted gross income eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for livestock disaster program benefits.

    LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire.  Fire losses apply only to federally managed rangeland.  Eligible livestock under LFP include beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine.  For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html.

    "To ensure a smooth application process, producers should have all required supporting documentation with them at the time they visit the FSA office to apply for benefits," said Polansky.

    For more information, county eligibility questions or to apply for LFP and other USDA Farm Service Agency disaster assistance programs, please contact your FSA county office located at the local USDA Service Center or on-line at http://www.fsa.usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.