Farm Credit Services has started selling insurance to cover potential losses from foot-and-mouth disease, as well as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow disease."

FCS began offering the policy on July 1. It arranged the coverage through Crowe Livestock Underwriting Ltd., a subsidiary of Lloyd's of London. Policies may be purchased for dairy or beef cattle.

The coverage is designed to supplement payments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the event of an outbreak. USDA would reimburse producers a certain amount per animal, while the insurance coverage would go beyond that to include such things as loss of income.

For more information, call your local FCS office or Donna Hughes at Marsh USA in Denver, Colo., at (303) 308-4500, ext. 4550.