Scott Reed, Executive Director for USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nueces County, reminds farmers and ranchers that the 2008 Farm Bill created five new disaster programs, one of which is the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

ELAP provides emergency relief to producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish to aid in the reduction of losses because of disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary, during the calendar year, that are not covered by the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).

"Livestock, honey bee, and farm-raised fish producers who have incurred 2008 and/or 2009 calendar year losses not covered by SURE, LIP, and LFP are advised to begin compiling their loss documentation, if interested in ELAP," said Reed. "Livestock, honey bee, or farm-raised fish producers must provide FSA with verifiable documentation for all losses for which compensation is requested."

Producers shall be advised that loss documentation will not be accepted by county offices until their ELAP applications are filed.

All types of losses for which livestock, honey bee, and farm-raised fish producers may be compensated for under ELAP will not be known until the regulations for ELAP are published in the Federal Register.

Farm-raised fish producers who incur physical losses of farm-raised fish because of adverse weather or other conditions must provide documentation of beginning inventory on the beginning date of the adverse weather event and the ending inventory.

Additional information about ELAP is available at the Nueces County FSA Office or by visiting the national FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov.