Programs available for Drought and Derecho Relief

Updated 9/17/2020

Iowa cattle producers have suffered in various ways due to extreme weather this year. Several programs are available to help, and ICA encourages producers to take advantage of the following opportunities:

USDA Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool

The USDA Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool may be helpful in identifying which disaster assistance programs you are eligible to apply for. Check it out HERE.  

If you have questions regarding eligibility for any of these programs, please contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) or Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides per head payments to eligible producers who have covered livestock and who are also producers of grazed forage crop acreage, which includes native and improved pasture land with permanent vegetative cover or certain crops planted specifically for grazing. Eligible producers must have suffered a loss of grazed forage due to a qualifying drought (D2 severe drought for at least 8 consecutive weeks, D3 extreme drought, D4 exceptional drought) during the normal grazing period for the county.  

2020 Payment Rates (per head)

  • Adult Bulls, Cows: $31.89   
  • Non-Adult 500 pounds or more: $23.92  
  •  Non-Adult Less than 500 pounds: $15.94 

Eligible counties as of 9/3/20: Adair, Audubon, Boone, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Crawford, Dallas, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Harrison, Monona, Pocahontas, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, and Webster. The aforementioned counties are eligible due to their D3 extreme drought classification on the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

Additional details of the program can be found in this factsheet or HERE.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)  

 ELAP provides assistance for livestock feed and grazing losses (not due to drought or wildfire on federally managed lands) and losses resulting from the cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought.  Click here for a factsheet.

Emergency Farm Loans

Producers who suffered losses caused by recent drought may be eligible for USDA FSA emergency loans.

Eligible counties include: Adair, Boone, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cass, Cherokee, Clarke, Clay, Crawfod, Dallas, Franklin, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Jasper, Kossuth, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O'Brien, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Story, Union, Warren, Webster, Woodbury and Wright

Emergency Haying and Grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association worked w/ state FSA officials to get emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres opened up after the Primary Nesting Season due to the drought conditions. While emergency haying is no longer authorized, some producers may be able to take advantage of grazing. Emergency grazing of CRP acres is authorized through September 30, 2020.

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland and conservation structures damaged by natural disasters and implement emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. Click here for a factsheet.

ECP assistance that may be particularly helpful for livestock producers:

  1. Fence restoration (livestock cross fences, boundary fences, cattle gates, or wildlife exclusion fence on ag land); and 
  2. Providing emergency water during periods of severe drought (grazing and confined livestock).
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)  

Note: This program is administered by NRCS, not FSA. 

NRCS has $4 million available for cost-share assistance for the following practices: 

  1. Seeding cover crops on impacted fields; 
  2. Replacing roofs, covers, or roof runoff structures previously funded through NRCS (this would include animal waste handling or storage areas); and 
  3. Replacing damaged high tunnel systems previously funded by NRCS. 

Eligible applicants will receive higher payment rates than usual for the aforementioned practices. 

Iowa counties included in the derecho disaster assistance include: Adair, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Buchanan, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Clarke, Clinton, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Linn, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Scott, Story, Tama, Warren, Washington, and Webster.  

Applications are due by October 2, 2020. Contact your local NRCS office with questions.