USDA to Assist Farmers During Drought With Livestock Forage Disaster Program

Livestock Forage Disaster Program (Submitted image)

The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the UVI Cooperative Extension Service Environmental Health and Climate Team, has successfully maintained its program with the U.S. Drought Monitor that shows the location and intensity of droughts across the country. For the second year in a row, the U.S. Virgin Islands has experienced a drought during the current dry season.

This designation qualifies the territory for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program through the USDA Farm Service Agency, which offers payments to eligible livestock producers and grazed forage crop acreage. These payments can help cover up to 60 percent of monthly feed costs, which is calculated by using the normal carrying capacity of the grazing land.

To be eligible for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, persons or legal entities must be registered with the USDA FSA; a U.S. citizen, resident alien, a partnership of U.S. citizens, a legal entity organized under state law, or an Indian tribe or tribal organization defined in the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act that:

  • Own, cash or share lease, or be a contract grower of covered livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of a qualifying drought.
  • Provide pastureland or grazing land for covered livestock, including cash-rented pastureland or grazing land as of the date of the qualifying drought or fire that is either: physically located in a county affected by a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county; or rangeland managed by a federal agency for which the otherwise eligible livestock producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing the normally permitted livestock because of a qualifying fire.
  • Certify that they have suffered a grazing loss because of a qualifying drought or fire; and
  • Timely file an acreage report for all grazing land for which a grazing loss is being claimed.

To apply, contact USDA Farm Service Agency for an appointment at 773-9146 ext. 100. For more information, visit or email VIDA thanks, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack, for their assistance in securing this funding.