program funds available The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released the final rule regarding supplemental agriculture disaster assistance programs. These programs assist producers who have experienced crop and livestock losses due to adverse weather. The final rule implements the general eligibility provisions for the 2008 Farm Bill disaster programs, which include the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). "South Dakota producers have experienced substantial weather-related losses," said Secretary of Agriculture Bill Even. "These programs can help farmers and ranchers recover from costly disasters and allow them to remain in business." The USDA final rule also details specific requirements for the LIP, which applies only to livestock owners and contract growers who had livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, and extreme heat and cold. Eligible LIP losses must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. For additional information regarding this final rule or any of the 2008 Farm Bill supplemental disaster assistance programs, contact your local Farm Service Agency office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.