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USDA offering drought assistance

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Ranchers and livestock producers may be eligible for financial assistance through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for 2021 grazing losses due to drought.

The deadline to apply for 2021 assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is Jan. 31, 2022.

“In addition to recovering from recent winter storms, ranchers and livestock producers continue to experience the impacts of severe drought conditions,” said Eddie Trevino, acting state executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Texas.

“FSA remains ready to respond to and assist producers with recovery from this ongoing disaster,” he said.

For the 2021 LFP program year, 144 counties in Texas, including Bandera, have met drought ratings that trigger eligibility for livestock disaster assistance.

For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Visit the FSA Texas webpage,www.fsa.usda. gov/state-offices/Texas/ index, for a complete list of eligible counties and grazing crops.

LFP provides payments to livestock owners and contract growers who also produce forage crops for grazing and suffered losses due to a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county.

Eligible livestock include alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo/bison, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer, or sheep that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland during the normal grazing period.

To expedite the application process, producers are encouraged to gather and submit records documenting 2021 losses.

Supporting documents may include information related to grazing leases, contract grower agreements, and more.