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USDA Encourages Producers to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Programs this Month to Avoid Payment Cuts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging livestock producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to sign-up by Sept. 30, or face a cut in disaster payments. Congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before the end of the month. Producers who sign up after Oct. 1 will see a 7.3% reduction in payments because of sequestration. Livestock producers who have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and who may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so immediately.

Producers seeking Livestock Forage Disaster Program support who have scheduled appointments with their local FSA office before Oct. 1, even if the appointment occurs after Oct. 1, will not see reductions in the amount of disaster relief they receive. According to the USDA, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program Frost Freeze payments will also be cut by 7.3% on Oct. 1. Unlike the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, applications for these programs must be fully completed by Sept. 30.

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