Tag Archives: FSA

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced updates to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). These updates include changes required by the 2018 Farm Bill as well as discretionary changes intended to improve the administration of the program and clarify existing program requirements.

“Honeybee producers should pay close attention to the ELAP program changes to ensure they meet the new deadline requirements,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “These changes better align two key disaster assistance program deadlines to provide consistency and ease of management for honeybee producers.”

Program Changes

ELAP was previously administered based on FSA’s fiscal year but will now run according to the calendar year. Producers are still required to submit an application for payment within 30 calendar days of the end of the program year. This is not a policy change but will affect the deadline. The signup deadline for calendar year 2020 losses is January 30, 2021.

Starting in 2020, producers will have 15 days from when the loss is first apparent, instead of 30 days, to file a honeybee notice of loss. This change provides consistency between ELAP and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which also has a 15-day notice of loss period for honey. For other covered losses, including livestock feed, grazing and farm-raised fish losses, the notice of loss deadline for ELAP will remain 30 days from when the loss is first apparent to the producer.

Program participants who were paid for the loss of a honeybee colony or hive in either or both of the previous two years will be required to provide additional documentation to substantiate how current year inventory was acquired.

If the honeybee colony loss incurred was because of Colony Collapse Disorder, program participants must provide a producer certification that the loss was a direct result of at least three of the five symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder, which include:

  • the loss of live queen and/or drone bee populations inside the hives;
  • rapid decline of adult worker bee population outside the hives, leaving brood poorly or completely unattended;
  • absence of dead adult bees inside the hive and outside the entrance of the hive;
  • absence of robbing collapsed colonies; and
  • at the time of collapse, varroa mite and Nosema populations are not at levels known to cause economic injury or population decline.

About the Program

For honeybees, ELAP covers colony losses, honeybee hive losses (the physical structure) and honeybee feed losses in instances where the colony, hive or feed has been destroyed by a natural disaster or, in the case of colony losses, because of Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony losses must be in excess of normal mortality.

ELAP also provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock and farm-raised fish including for feed and grazing losses. It covers losses because of eligible adverse weather or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires on federally managed lands. ELAP also covers losses resulting from the cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought.

More Information

For more information on ELAP visit farmers.gov/recover or contact your FSA County Office. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. March 16, 2020, is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year.

Although more than 200,000 producers across the nation have enrolled to date, FSA anticipates 1.5 million producers will enroll for ARC and PLC. By enrolling soon, producers can beat the rush as the deadline nears. Producers who complete the ARC and PLC election and enrollment process now, ahead of the deadline, still will have until March 16 to make changes, if necessary.

ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms.

The programs cover the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, grain sorghum, oats, dry peas, rapeseed, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat, among others. 

Producers are reminded that if they do not complete the ARC/PLC election process by the deadline, they will be ineligible to receive a payment for the 2019 crop year.

More Information

To assist with the decision-making process, informational resources are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. Producers also can access www.fsa.usda.gov/ne where information under the “Spotlights” section includes a webinar that provides ARC and PLC information shared at recent public meetings held across Nebraska.

To enroll, contact your FSA county office for an appointment.