USDA makes Livestock Indemnity Program changes due to extreme heat

Recent high temperatures across farm country have taken a toll on the U.S. cattle herd, causing some big losses for those producers. The deaths are amplified by the fact some cattle were worth a lot more than just a few months ago.

It is why USDA is making some changes to the Livestock Indemnity Program. LIP pays producers for losses in events like this. It is typically 75 percent of fair market value, but those payouts have gone up this year and so have average weights. Now, USDA is updating the payment rate for beef calves over 800 pounds to 16.18 per head, which is up from 12.44.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the updated structure gives those producers a helping hand after heat domes covered much of the U.S. this summer.

“These heat domes have plagued the United States and they’ve proved to be unsurvivable for animals and temperatures. Unfortunately, in the near term, aren’t necessarily expected to let up.”

Vilsack says the rates should be more reflective of the current situation. The new rate will apply to all claims made this year.

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