I speak for all FSA employees when I say it is good to be back at work carrying out our mission of serving our area producers and ranchers. Because of the partial government shutdown, the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has announced several program deadline extensions.
    - Market Facilitation Program: Deadline has been moved to Thursday, Feb. 14. You must have Part D signed by this deadline to participate and receive benefits.
    - Marketing Assistance Loans: If the loan matured on Dec. 31, 2018, the new settlement date has been extended to Feb. 14. Any MAL that matured on Jan. 31 needed to be paid in full by that date as there was no extension for those loans.
    - Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program: Notice of losses must be filed by Feb. 14.
    - Livestock Indemnity Program: Notice of losses must be filed by Feb. 14.
    - Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program: 2019 applications for coverage for those crops that were due during the partial government shutdown are now due Feb. 14. Applications for payment for 2018 covered losses are also due Feb. 14.
    - Tree Assistance Program: Notice of losses must be filed by Feb. 14.
    - Acreage reporting: For those crops with an acreage reporting deadline that was within the partial government shutdown are now due Feb. 14.
    With the recent extreme cold weather we have experienced, I wanted to remind producers of the Livestock Indemnity Program and how FSA could possibly assist you in mitigating these losses. LIP 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 livestock losses, eligible livestock owners must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent.
    Participants must provide the proof of death documentation, copy of grower’s contact and proof of normal mortality documentation to a FSA office no later than 90 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred.
    If you suffered livestock losses during the recent extremely low temperatures, file a notice of loss with your county office as soon as possible. You should also start compiling your 2019 inventory records, keep detailed records of the losses you suffered and keep any receipts from rendering trucks, etc., that will help prove your losses.
    Additional information about LIP is available at a FSA office or online 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.