Livestock producers throughout the state have reported livestock losses due to drinking toxic water caused by blue-green algae poisoning. The algae, truly bacteria (cyanobacteria), are present in most bodies of water,… but under the right conditions, the bacteria “bloom” and can become toxic and sometimes deadly. The blue-green algae blooms can grow excessively and produce toxins after heavy rainfall, followed by prolonged periods of hot temperatures.
The 2014 Farm Bill did not include blue-green algae poisoning as an eligible loss condition under the Emergency Livestock Disaster Assistance Program (ELAP). The North Dakota State FSA Committee submitted a request to the National Office to include blue-green algae poisoning as an eligible loss condition. The request was approved, therefore producers who suffered livestock losses due to blue-green algae poisoning may submit an ELAP application with their local FSA Office.
The following guidelines must be followed for livestock producers that suffered livestock death losses due to blue-green algae poisoning:
- Livestock that died due to blue-green algae poisoning are only considered eligible for ELAP death loss benefits if it is the first time during the normal grazing period that livestock deaths occurred due to blue-green algae poisoning concentrated in a specific lake/pond. Therefore, for livestock deaths that occur after the first episode from the same lake/pond, during the same grazing period, are not eligible for death loss benefits under ELAP.
- Producers must provide acceptable proof of livestock death losses due to blue-green algae poisoning, such as veterinary records, rendering receipts, private insurance documents, records assembled for tax purposes, bank or other loan documents, personal diaries, pictures with date, brand inspection records, ear tag documentation/records, or other similar records. If other livestock producers in the area witness the losses, a statement from those producers could also be made part of the application.
For livestock losses that occurred due to blue-green algae from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2013, the deadline to file an application is August 15, 2014. For similar losses occurring from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014, the deadline to file an application is November 1, 2014. All supporting documentation must be submitted to the local FSA office by these deadlines. Please contact the local FSA Office for more information.
Photo caption: Blue-green algae is visible on water in the Devils Lake area. Blue-green algae can pose a health threat to livestock and wild animals. By NDSU.
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