The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced sign-up dates for the new Livestock Compensation Program, Livestock Indemnity Program and Crop Disaster Program to cover losses farmers suffered from natural disasters in recent years.

Eligible farmers and livestock producers can apply for benefits under the Livestock Compensation Program (LCP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) starting Sept. 10, 2007.

Eligible farmers can sign up for the Crop Disaster Program (CDP) starting Oct. 15, 2007 if they suffered substantial losses to their crops.

LCP compensates livestock producers for feed losses occurring between Jan. 1, 2005 and Feb. 28, 2007 due to a variety of natural disasters as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. Producers incurring a loss in more than one of the three calendar years must choose only one year for which they want to apply for benefits.

LIP compensates livestock producers for livestock losses incurred between Jan. 1, 2005 and Feb. 28, 2007 that resulted from natural disasters, including losses due to blizzards as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. Producers suffering losses in more than one of the three years must choose a single year for which they want to apply for benefits.

CDP provides benefits to farmers who suffered quantity and quality losses to 2005, 2006 or 2007 crops from natural disasters if the crop was planted before Feb. 28, 2007 or in the case of prevented plantings, for crops that would have been planted before Feb. 28, 2007. Producers who suffered losses in any of the three qualifying years must choose one year for which they wish to apply for benefits.

More information on LCP, LIP and CDP is available in a fact sheet titled, Agricultural Assistance Act of 2007, found on USDA’s Farm Service Agency Web site and click on Disaster Assistance Programs. USDA is developing individual fact sheets about these programs that will be posted online.