The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska urge ranchers to take steps now to document their losses of livestock in writing, and with pictures.
The mother cows, the base of Nebraska’s livestock economy, are crying for the calves they’ve lost. State officials estimate cow-calf losses will total to $400 million in Nebraska from the storm. Most of those losses are baby calves.
However, the livestock that died or mortally injured in the “bomb cyclone” storm that hit Nebraska are covered by USDA payments, under the Livestock Indemnity Program.
Photos that include the date are one way to make a record of losses, a process that is relatively easy with a smart phone. Also, production records, such as births and deaths, are valid evidence of losses, the USDA says. A dead stock receipt from a rendering company is evidence. Producers might have to ask for the receipt from the driver.
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Livestock that strayed in the storm and are lost are also covered, although it will take a little more evidence to validate those losses with the USDA. Beginning year inventory, purchase records, sale records, veterinary records and bank loan records can suffice. Veterinarians can provide a statement of inspection.
Photos should also be taken of damaged livestock buildings and pens, with the date. Photos should include debris from the water and full views of damaged areas, the USDA recommends. Keep newspaper accounts of the damage in your area.
Under the Livestock Indemnity Program, 75% of the extraordinary losses (over and above normal 5% losses) will be compensated. This will amount to thousands of dollars for most livestock owners.
A producer must file a notice of loss with their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of the date the loss becomes apparent, to qualify for compensation.
So, as you make the rounds and make repairs, record the situation, ICON advises.