With the 2018 farm bill comes the opportunity to sign-up for the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. Informational meetings are being held in conjunction with Minnesota Extension Service and explaining the provisions of the 2019-20 ARC/PLC programs.  The following Minnesota sites have been selected to host these meetings within the state:
    - Jan. 13, 2 p.m., Maynard Event Center, Maynard.
    - Jan. 13, 10 a.m., Max’s Grill, Olivia.
    - Jan. 14, 2 p.m., American Legion, Wheaton.
    - Jan. 14, 9 a.m., Grace Lutheran Church, Breckenridge.
    - Jan. 16, 9 a.m., Nobles County Government Building, Worthington.
    - Jan. 17, 1 p.m., Lincoln Elementary School auditorium, Ivanhoe.
    - Jan. 17, 2 p.m., Holiday Inn, Alexandria.
    - Jan 17, 9 a.m., Clinton Memorial Building, Clinton.
    - Jan. 21, 9 a.m., Paynesville American Legion, Paynesville.
    - Jan. 23, 2 p.m., Freeborn County Fairgrounds, Albert Lea.
    - Jan. 23, 10 a.m., Marshall YMCA, Marshall.
    - Jan. 23, 10 a.m., Steele County Community Center, Owatonna.
    - Jan. 24, 9 a.m., Rockford Township Hall, Buffalo.
    - Jan. 24, 9 a.m., Henry’s Catering and Event Center, Foley.
    - Jan. 27, 10 a.m., Mabel Community Center, Mabel.
    - Jan. 27, 2 p.m., RCC Heintz Center Commons, Rochester.
    - Jan. 30, 2 p.m., Carlton County Transportation Department, Carlton.
    - Jan. 30, 9 a.m., Chisago Township Laketown Hall, Lindstrom.
    - Jan. 31, 9 a.m., Land Services Building, Meeting Room 1-2, Brainerd.
    Signup is currently taking place with a number of producers already having made their program selection. If farm operators understand program options, there is no reason not to enroll soon. Attending a meeting is not required but provides explanation of program rules and options. If you are unable to attend a meeting, there is a website training available at https://www.farmbill.umn.edu. The signup deadline for the 2019 program is March 15.
    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 a 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 and proof of normal mortality documentation.
    The United States Department of Agriculture has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock. 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.