Adverse Weather Conditions and Livestock Losses

By : Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, SDSU Economics Department, Courtesy of


As South Dakota livestock producers dig out of the snow left from the April 13 and 14th blizzard, they should be keeping track of death losses due to the storm.

Death losses of calves higher than what is considered normal (5%), may be eligible for financial assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture-Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA).

Federal Financial Assistance

Livestock Indemnity Program
While calf and lamb losses from the unseasonable cold temperatures, combined with rain and snow, earlier in the month may have caused death losses, those are not qualified weather events that trigger Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) eligibility. The exemption to this would be a localized storm that was identified by the local County Committee. The statewide blizzard event is likely to be a qualified event.

Livestock Forage Program
As the blizzard is projected to bring much needed moisture to the state, the type, kind and ability to soak into the ground may help with the drought situation, in the short term. Continual monitoring of the drought situation and duration will be important to producers as Livestock Forage Program (LFP) eligibility may become applicable in the case of prolonged Drought Monitor classifications of D2 or higher designations during the 2018 grazing season.


As in past years, maintaining animal records is a key component to qualifying for the payments that may be trigged due to the April blizzard or any drought designations. Also, timely reporting of the losses must be reported to the local FSA offices.

Additional Resources


Posted in

Tagged keywords...