Document Livestock Losses

Producers with excessive livestock losses due to adverse natural and
environmental conditions may qualify for compensation under the 2014 farm bill,
according to North Dakota State University Extension Service livestock
stewardship specialist Gerald Stokka.

This compensation would be for losses above and beyond those that occur under
normal circumstances.

"For example, spring snow storms that result in excessive death loss of newborn
calves due to hypothermia may be eligible for payments if farmers and ranchers
keep documentation of losses," Stokka says. "This does not mean estimated
losses, but actual numbers or tag numbers of older calves and cattle."

Losses indirectly due to adverse conditions, such as calf scours and respiratory
disease, also may be eligible for compensation. These losses may be due to
inadequate colostral intake and absorption as a result of the environmental

"As we do not know details of this program at this time, our advice is to
document inventory," Stokka says. "Keep records of losses of calves or cows such
that, at a later date when the details of the program are made public,
eligibility can be determined."

Documentation with calving books, inventories of cows at pregnancy checking time
or calf-working events, and date-stamped images would be useful in these cases.

"Contact and maintain a good working relationship with your veterinary clinic
and Extension agent to assist in recordkeeping and causation of losses," Stokka