Lawrence County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Brian Blount reminds producers who have incurred additional operating costs for transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought that assistance is available through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

An eligible drought means that part or all of a county is designated D3 or higher as defined by the U.S. Drought Monitor www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu.

Producers must file a notice of loss on form CCC-851 the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent to the producer, or by November 1. Additionally, the deadline to submit an application for payment for 2018 ELAP assistance is November 1.

ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish who have suffered losses due to an eligible adverse weather or loss condition, including blizzards, disease, water shortages and wildfires.

"Prolonged drought conditions have caused many hardships for producers including increased expenses associated with water transport -- equipment, labor and contracted water transportation costs," said Blount.

To qualify for ELAP, eligible livestock must be: alpacas, adult or non-adult dairy cattle, beef cattle, buffalo and beefalo as well as deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer and sheep.

Additionally, the livestock must have been owned 60 calendar days prior to the beginning of the drought and be physically located in the county designated as a disaster area due to drought. Adequate livestock watering systems or facilities must have existed before the drought occurred and producers are only eligible if they do not normally transport water to the livestock.

Livestock that were or would have been in a feedlot are not eligible for livestock losses resulting from transporting water and ELAP does not cover the cost of the water itself.

"I encourage livestock producers to contact the Lawrence County FSA to make an appointment to sign up for ELAP and to learn more about eligibility, application and documentation requirements," said Blount.

For more information on ELAP and eligible losses from transporting water, contact the Lawrence County FSA office at 417-466-7107 ext 2.