Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that USDA has already made more than $175 million in disaster payments to America's livestock producers after implementing two new programs in 2009, demonstrating USDA's commitment to rapidly meeting the goals of Congress and providing farmers and ranchers with timely and effective disaster assistance.

"America's farmers and ranchers deserve efficient and effective assistance programs to help get through natural disasters," says Vilsack. "While the previous ad hoc disaster assistance too often was too little, too late, because we were able to get these new programs up and running quickly, we are already beginning to achieve Congress' goal of helping producers recover losses rapidly and more thoroughly."

Under the standing provisions of the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), authorized in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), producers are better able to recover from their losses stemming from 2008 and subsequent disasters. The 2008 Farm Bill provisions replace previous ad-hoc disaster assistance programs and are funded through the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund.

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Source: USDA