Swine Farmers to Receive Monitoring Study Info - The N.C. Division of Water Quality will mail letters to Eastern N.C. swine farmers next week explaining a study of water quality in waters near swine farms. The study was suggested and supported by farmers and by farm and commodity organizations as a reasonable alternative to a mandatory monitoring rule that had been proposed. That monitoring rule would have required all farmers with permits for animal operations to collect samples and pay for sample analysis on every permitted farm. The study was accepted by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission as more scientifically valid and less burdensome to farmers than the proposed mandatory monitoring rule. The study is being funded jointed by the N.C. Division of Water Quality and the U.S. Geological Survey. USGS will be doing the sampling, which will be done at randomly selected farms and should begin around February 2012. The letter farmers will receive next week will be to introduce them to the study concept and tell them where they can get more information. Contact: Anne Coan, NCFB's Environmental Affairs Director, (919) 782-1705.
LIP May Provide Relief from Heat Mortality - North Carolina farmers may be eligible for compensation for excessive livestock mortality caused by the current extreme heat. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 authorized the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) to provide benefits to livestock producers. The benefits are for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011—including losses because of hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. The livestock death losses must also have occurred in the calendar year for which benefits are being requested. LIP provisions are similar to other livestock indemnity programs implemented by FSA in recent years, except that an owner or contract grower's livestock do not have to be located in a county or contiguous county designated a natural disaster by the president or declared by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Under the current LIP, an owner or contract grower's livestock payments will be based on individual producers' losses. Contact: Local FSA office.