Dealing With Pasture and Forage Issues During Recovery From Hurricane Florence – Information for Agents

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Matt Poore | 9/22/2018

As a result of Hurricane Florence, water is high in southeastern and south central NC with many fields flooded and farms inaccessible. Farmers will be assessing damage to fields and property as the water recedes, and we are getting many questions about the likely impact on hay, pastures and cattle health. This information is intended to help extension agents answer questions they are getting from their farmers and will be reviewed for release to producers soon.

Livestock That Died During the Event

Any animals that died specifically as a result of the storm need to be documented as soon as possible. Photos and a written affidavit to document the losses will be needed to apply to the Livestock Indemnity Program.


Pasture-based livestock producers need to assess and document loss of hay as soon as it is safe to do so. If a producer lost hay they should take photos of the bales (when bales are still on the property), or the place the bales were stored. Make sure to write down the number of bales, type and quality of hay, and the estimated weight (or the size i.e. 4 x 4, 4 x 5, etc.). Contact the FSA office and visit them with this information as soon as possible. Our understanding is that hay losses will be covered under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). This program will help pay producers for their hay losses. To qualify for the program, hay had to be baled, and the program will not cover hay that was cut and on the ground (not likely in this event due to the very wet conditions that preceded Matthew). Also, this program only covers hay purchased to feed or hay cut to feed. It does not cover hay that was cut to sell, so producers will likely need to document that they do own livestock and planned on feeding the hay that was lost. Farmers need to file a notice of loss to the FSA office within 30 days of the loss.

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