CJ Baumgartner | Local News

USDA To Cover Feed Transportation Costs For Farmers, Ranchers Impacted By Drought

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ST. PAUL – The USDA announced September 8 that it is updating the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to cover feed transportation costs. Livestock producers will be able to apply for assistance at their local USDA Service Center later this month.

ELAP already covers the cost of hauling water during drought and this change will expand the program beginning in 2021 to cover feed transportation costs where grazing and hay resources have been depleted. This includes places where:

  • Drought intensity is D2 for eight consecutive weeks as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor;
  • Drought intensity is D3 or more; or
  • USDA has determined a shortage of local or regional feed availability

“This is welcome news for farmers and ranchers in Minnesota who have watched their pastures wither this summer,” said Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish. “With nearly 37 percent of Minnesota having drought intensity of D3 or more as of Sept. 9, this assistance from USDA is much-needed. As farmers and ranchers continue to access their financial situation as a result of the drought, we will continue to advocate for those who were adversely impacted.”

Under the revised USDA policy, eligible ranchers will be reimbursed 60% of feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year. A national cost formula, established by USDA, will be used to determine reimbursement costs. More information will be forthcoming from USDA and will be available at fsa.usda.gov/elap.