What is ELAP (Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program)?
ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish. It covers losses due to adverse weather or other loss conditions including blizzards, disease, flood, water transport, and wildfires.
Farmers may be eligible for ELAP, LIP, and ECP for the same disaster depending on the types of losses. For example, a livestock farm hit by a hurricane could use ELAP for damaged feed, LIP for cattle deaths due to the hurricane, and ECP for repair of livestock fencing.
Which Producers Can Apply?
- own or have a contract for grazing animals (alpacas, adult or non-adult dairy cattle, adult or non-adult beef cattle, adult or non-adult buffalo, adult or non-adult beefalo, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer, and sheep).
- owned them or entered into contract during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of the eligible event.
- have animals for ag commercial/production purposes.
- have suffered loss of grazing land, feed, costs to transport water, or costs to inspect or treat CTF.
Farmers who have suffered a loss of:
- grazing land/pastureland — if not due to drought or wildfires on federal lands (LFP), eligible loss on grazing land must be physically located in a county where eligible adverse weather or loss conditions occurred.
- forage and feed — purchased, mechanically harvested, added cost of transporting due to weather/loss, or additional cost of purchase above normal quantities required to maintain livestock.
- costs of transporting water — eligible livestock had existing and adequate watering system, do not normally require transported water; cost of equipment, rental, contract labor (not for water itself).
- costs of treating/inspecting CTF — only for dairy/beef/beefalo cattle, need records of treatment/inspection and needs to be on file with APHIS.
- have an interest and risk in an eligible colony for the purposes of producing honey, pollinating or breeding for commercial use as part of a farming operation on the beginning date of the eligible adverse weather or loss condition
- and suffered an eligible honeybee loss in a county where the eligible adverse weather or loss condition occurred on the beginning date of the eligible adverse weather or loss condition.
Losses of colonies must be in excess of normal mortality. ELAP covers damage to hives and feed that was purchased or produced, including additional feed purchased above normal quantities to sustain honeybees until such time that additional feed becomes available.
Eligible Honeybees include:
- Bees housed in a managed hive and used for honey production, pollination, or breeding.
- Does NOT include wild, feral honeybees, leaf cutter bees, or other bee species.
- owned or leased property with readily identifiable boundaries.
- had control of the waterbed, the ground under the specific type of water and not just control over a column of water.
- provided purchased or produced feed to the farm-raised fish.
- Does not cover turtles or alligators.
Eligible Losses include:
- Fish Loss: death losses in excess of normal mortality due to weather/loss condition.
- Bait or game fish grown in controlled environment.
- Aquatic organisms grown as food for human consumption (or as food for fish for human consumption) in controlled environment.
- Ornamental fish or fish maintained for commercial use as part of farming operation.
- Destroyed due to eligible weather or loss condition; physically located in county where weather occurred.
Farmers do not need to apply for ELAP in advance — only after an eligible loss occurs. The following table details what farmers should do after an eligible loss to receive relief funding through ELAP.
|Eligible Loss||Relevant Dates||Documentation|
|Honeybees||Colony collapse disorder (for colony loss only), earthquake, winter storm (colony loss only), excessive wind, flood, hurricane, tornado, volcanic eruption, wildfire.||Final date to file notice of loss: 15 days after loss is apparent. The FSA county office will review the notice of loss. If the loss is deemed eligible then the office will complete a worksheet to calculate the payment, which is signed by the applicant. The final date to sign the application for payment is Jan. 30 after the calendar year in which the loss occurred.||Proof of inventory at beginning of program year and after eligible weather event.|
|Livestock||(Feed/grazing loss) blizzard; eligible winter storm; flood; hurricane; lightning; tidal surge; tornado; volcanic eruption; or wildfire on non-federal land.(Water Transport) Rated as a D3 (extreme drought) intensity by U.S. Drought Monitor(Cattle Tick Fever) cost to inspect and/or treat cattle.||Final date to file notice of loss: 30 days after loss is apparent. The FSA county office will review the notice of loss. If the loss is deemed eligible then the office will complete a worksheet to calculate the payment, which is signed by the applicant. The final date to sign the application for payment is Jan. 30 after the calendar year in which the loss occurred.||Copy of the grower contract if they are a contract grower and any other supporting documents required for determining eligibility.|
|Farm-raised Fish||(Death Loss) earthquakes, excessive heath, excessive wind (Feed Loss) flooding, freeze, hurricane, tidal surge, tornado, volcanic eruption.||Final date to file notice of loss: 30 days after loss is apparent. The FSA county office will review the notice of loss. If the loss is deemed eligible then the office will complete a worksheet to calculate the payment, which is signed by the applicant. The final date to sign the application for payment is Jan. 30 after the calendar year in which the loss occurred.||Fish inventory or feed costs receipts are required.|
What to Do Before a Loss
- Know your county FSA agent.
- Keep good records.
- Ensure that you have all grower contracts.
- Save receipts for expenses.
What to Do After a Loss
- Document Loss
- Document damage as soon as possible to clearly show evidence of loss (as soon as you notice loss/as soon as disaster occurs).
- Contact Local FSA Office
- Report your loss right away to the local FSA office. Notice of loss must be filed at your local FSA office within 30 days of the loss occurring or becoming apparent for livestock and fish and within 15 days for honeybees.
Calculating ELAP Loss Payments
Socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited-resource, and veteran farmers are eligible to receive a 90% payment rate for ELAP payments. Otherwise payment rates vary between 60-75%.
|ELAP Payment Calculation|
|Honeybees||Colony Loss = 75/90% x # colonies lost above normal 22% mortality (due to weather/loss condition) x avg market value per colony (2021, $100/colony)|
Hive Loss=75/90% x # hives lost due to weather/loss condition x avg market value per hive ($200/hive)
Feed Loss= 60/90% x actual cost of purchased/harvest feed damaged due to weather AND/OR feed purchased above normal quantities to sustain honeybees
|Farm-raised Fish||Fish Loss= 75/90% x # fish lost in excess of normal mortality (due to weather/loss condition) x state’s avg market value per fish species (determined by FSA)|
Feed Loss=60/90% x actual cost of purchased/harvested feed intended for eligible fish that was damaged
|Livestock||Grazing Loss= 60/90% lesser of 1) feed cost x # grazing days lost (150 max) or 2) normal carrying capacity x grazing days lost (150 max)|
Feed Loss = 60/90% of 1) value of purchased/harvest feed damaged by weather, 2) additional cost of transporting feed, or 3) additional cost of buying feed above normal quantities (150 days max)
Water Transport = 60/90% lesser of 1) cost to transport water for up to 150 days, based on livestock requirements, 2) cost to transport water for the program year
Cattle Tick Fever = 60/90% x # eligible livestock treated/inspected x avg cost to gather livestock per head (established by FSA)
FSA Contact information
Visit: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app to locate your nearest FSA office. If you have trouble locating, getting in touch with, or receiving adequate service from your agent, please let us know.
To learn more and inquire about particular FSA disaster assistance programs, email [email protected] or call 877.207.6373
USDA ELAP Fact Sheet – honeybee
USDA ELAP Fact Sheet – livestock
USDA ELAP Fact Sheet – farm-raised fish
Want to really dig into the details of ELAP? Review FSA’s Handbook on ELAP.
About the Farmers of Color Network (FOCN) at RAFI-USA
FOCN develops relationships with farmers of color in order to support and honor multi-generational organizing, sustainable agricultural practices, and ancestral traditions and knowledge. FOCN provides farmer-led technical assistance, offers funding opportunities, and hosts networking events and gatherings to expand market access.