The signup deadline for the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs is March 16. Do not delay, and contact the FSA as soon as you know your election. You can choose to sign a multi-year contract. However, if you decide down the road to make a change to your election, you can do so for 2021 through 2023 crop years.  
    The Livestock Indemnity Program provides assistance to eligible producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law.
    LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat or extreme cold.
    For disease losses, FSA county committees can accept veterinarian certifications that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management.
    For 2019 and 2020 livestock losses, eligible livestock owners must file a notice within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent.
    Participants must provide the following supporting documentation to their FSA office no later than 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred. Producers are reminded to keep updated livestock inventory records. These records are necessary in the event of a natural disaster.
    - Proof of death documentation.
    - Copy of grower’s contracts.
    - Proof of normal mortality documentation.
    The USDA has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. adult beef cow 1.5% and non-adult beef cattle (less than 400 pounds) 5%. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under normal conditions.
    In addition to filing a notice of loss, producers must also submit an application for payment by March 1 for 2019 losses and March 1, 2021, for losses that occur in 2020. Additional Information about LIP is available at a FSA office or at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.
    Farm Service Agency is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Complaints about discrimination should be sent to: Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Visit the Farm Service Agency Web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov/ for necessary application forms and updates on USDA programs.