Livestock producers in Polk County eligible for federal assistance

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

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Livestock Forage Disaster Program to provide help for grazing losses due to drought, fire


POLK COUNTY—Livestock producers, farmers and ranchers in Polk County may be eligible for assistance from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program for grazing losses incurred in 2023 due to drought and fire.

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According to Kelly Spring, the county executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency in Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties, the program compensates livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses.

“Henderson, Polk, Transylvania, and Rutherford Counties recently met qualifying drought ratings that trigger eligibility for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program on improved pasture, native pasture and sorghum forage,” said Springs.

The US Drought Monitor uses drought ratings to determine which counties qualify. Eligible livestock includes alpacas, beef and dairy cattle, emus, equine, goats, llamas and sheep that would have been grazing on pastureland during the standard grazing period.

To apply for assistance, producers who experienced losses in 2023 should collect records documenting their losses. Supporting documents may include information on grazing leases or federal grazing permits and contract grower agreements.

“We encourage producers to contact our office for an appointment and to learn what records are required to apply for assistance,” said Springs.

For more information, contact the Henderson-Polk-Transylvania and Rutherford County FSA offices at (828) 693-1406 or (828) 287-4220. Information can also be obtained online at