1416.305 Application process.§ 1416.305 Application process.
(a) A notice of loss must be accompanied by documentation acceptable to FSA substantiating that the claimed eligible loss condition occurred and was responsible for eligible losses. For any notice of loss being submitted for disease exacerbated by eligible adverse weather, the notice of loss must be accompanied by a certification referenced in paragraph (g) of this section.
(b) A livestock owner or contract grower that suffered livestock losses must:
(1) Provide a notice of loss, by livestock unit, to FSA by the later of 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent to the livestock owner or contract grower or December 3, 2018.
(2) Submit the notice of loss required in this section to the FSA county office responsible for servicing the physical location county where the loss occurred.
(c) In addition to the notice of loss required in paragraph (b) of this section, a participant must also submit a completed application for payment, by livestock unit for losses apparent in 2019 and subsequent years, by no later than 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred.
(d) A participant must provide other supporting documents required for determining eligibility as an applicant at the time the participant submits the completed application for payment. Supporting documents must include:
(1) Evidence of loss,
(2) Current physical location of livestock in inventory,
(3) Physical location of claimed livestock at the time of death or injury,
(4) Documentation acceptable to FSA showing inventory numbers for the livestock unit and other inventory information necessary to establish actual mortality as required by FSA,
(5) A farm operating plan, if a current farm operating plan is not already on file in the FSA county office,
(6) Documentation of the adverse weather event from an official weather reporting data source that is determined by FSA to be reputable and available in the public domain such as, but not limited to, NOAA, from which State and County FSA Offices can validate the adverse weather event occurred,
(7) Documentation to substantiate eligible attacks obtained from a source such as, but not limited to, the following:
(ii) State level Department of Natural Resources, or
(iii) Other sources or documentation, such as third parties, as determined by the Deputy Administrator, and
(8) If livestock are injured and sold at a reduced price.
(i) Documentation of injured livestock's gross price, and
(ii) Documentation to substantiate injury of livestock due to an eligible adverse weather event or eligible attack.
(9) The livestock producer may supplement additional documentation to support the eligible loss condition, as determined by the Deputy Administrator.
(10) In addition, contract growers must provide a copy of the grower contract.
(e) For death losses or losses resulting from injured livestock sold at a reduced price, the participant must provide adequate proof that the death or injury of the eligible livestock occurred as a direct result of an eligible loss condition, as opposed to any other possible or potential cause of loss. The quantity and kind of livestock that died as a direct result of the eligible loss condition may be documented by: Purchase records; veterinarian records; bank or other loan papers; rendering-plant truck receipts; Federal Emergency Management Agency records; National Guard records; written contracts; production records; Internal Revenue Service records; property tax records; private insurance documents; and other similar verifiable documents as determined by FSA. The quantity and kind of livestock that died or has been injured and sold at a reduced price as a direct result of an eligible attack must be substantiated by documentation of confirmed kills observed by an acceptable source as specified in paragraphs (d)(7) and (g) of this section.
(f) For losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event or eligible disease, if adequate verifiable proof of death or injury documentation is not available, the participant may provide reliable records as proof of death or injury. Reliable records may include contemporaneous producer records, dairy herd improvement records, brand inspection records, vaccination records, dated pictures, and other similar reliable documents as determined by FSA.
(g) For livestock death losses due to disease, a licensed veterinarian's certification of livestock deaths may be accepted as proof of death, if reliable beginning inventory data is available, only if the veterinarian provides a written statement containing all of the following:
(1) Veterinarian's personal observation of the animals and knowledge of how the deaths of the livestock were because of disease caused or exacerbated by an eligible adverse weather event;
(2) Livestock deaths were not otherwise avoidable and preventable using good animal husbandry and management protocols and practices by the livestock producer; and
(3) Other information required by FSA to determine the certification acceptable.
(4) Information furnished by the participant and the veterinarian will be used to determine eligibility for program benefits. Furnishing the information is voluntary; however, without all required information program benefits will not be approved or provided
(h) Certification of livestock deaths or injuries by third parties may be accepted if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The livestock owner or livestock contract grower, as applicable, certifies in writing:
(i) That there is no other documentation of death available;
(ii) The number of livestock, by category identified in this subpart and by FSA were in inventory at the time the eligible adverse weather event occurred;
(iii) The physical location of the livestock, by category, in inventory when the deaths occurred; and
(iv) Other details required for FSA to determine the certification acceptable; and
(2) The third party is an independent source who is not affiliated with the farming operation such as a hired hand and is not a “family member,” defined as a person whom a member in the farming operation or their spouse is related as lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, sibling, spouse, and provides their telephone number, address, and a written statement containing specific details about:
(i) Their knowledge of the livestock deaths;
(ii) Their affiliation with the livestock owner;
(iii) The accuracy of the deaths claimed by the livestock owner or contract grower including, but not limited to, the number and kind or type of the participant's livestock that died because of the eligible adverse weather event; and
(iv) Other information required by FSA to determine the certification acceptable.
(v) Data furnished by the participant and the third party will be used to determine eligibility for program benefits. Furnishing the data is voluntary; however, without all required data program benefits will not be approved or provided.
(i) Calf and lamb open range livestock operations may provide proof of death by using the livestock beginning inventory history for reporting losses.
(1) For 2017 and subsequent calendar years, livestock inventory reports by livestock unit must be provided to the local county FSA office by the later of December 3, 2018 or 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year of the eligible adverse weather event. The STC may approve a waiver of the reporting deadline if a participant has not previously received benefits under this method.
(i) Livestock inventory reports must provide an accurate account of livestock beginning inventory for the livestock type or kind and must be supported by written records such as but not limited to: Docking records, sales receipts, shearing records, shipping records, bank records, veterinarian records, IRS records, or other records approved by COC. For purposes of determining beginning livestock inventory, livestock inventory reports may require adjustment by COC, not to exceed normal mortality, for when loss occurs at different points during the growing season (for example, inventories from docking may need little to no adjustment, but sales records at the end of the growing season may require an adjustment to account for a full years of normal mortality).
(ii) The unweaned livestock operation must certify to the accuracy of the information.
(2) The unweaned livestock operation is solely responsible for the timely submission and certification of accurate, complete livestock beginning inventory to the county FSA office. Livestock beginning inventory records must be provided for all livestock type or kind.
(i) Records may be requested by the applicable COC or STC, on behalf of FSA. The unweaned livestock operation must provide such records upon request.
(ii) The COC will explain the procedure for the LBIH to unweaned livestock operation. COC will determine the LBIH in accordance with § 1416.305(g).
(iii) COC will determine if the livestock beginning inventory records are acceptable and calculate the approved livestock beginning inventory history.
(3) The LBIH is calculated utilizing a minimum of 4 years of data and will be updated each subsequent inventory year. The transitional LBIH may contain a maximum of the 4 most recent calendar years and may include actual and transitional livestock beginning inventories. Transitional LBIH will only be used when less than 4 years of actual records are available. Appropriate adjustments to LBIH may be made to account for variations in ewe, cow and nanny stocking levels during the period covered by the history.
(4) The unweaned livestock operation is required to provide beginning livestock inventory records to determine the LBIH, if livestock beginning inventory records are available.
(i) If no acceptable livestock beginning inventory records are available for calves, lambs, or kids, calculate the 4 transitional livestock beginning inventory histories by multiplying the approved birthing rate or drop rate percentage for the unweaned livestock operation times the applicable cow, ewe, or nanny LBIH times 65 percent.
(ii) If acceptable livestock beginning inventory records are provided for only one of the most recent 5 calendar years, calculate the 3 transitional livestock beginning inventory histories by multiplying the approved birthing rate or drop rate percentage for the unweaned livestock operation times the applicable cow, ewe, or nanny LBIH times 80 percent.
(iii) If acceptable livestock beginning inventory records are provided for only 2 of the most recent 5 calendar years, calculate the 2 transitional livestock beginning inventory histories by multiplying the approved birthing rate or drop rate percentage for the unweaned livestock operation times the applicable cow, ewe, or nanny LBIH times 90 percent.
(iv) If acceptable livestock beginning inventory records are provided for only 3 of the most recent 5 calendar years, calculate the one transitional livestock beginning inventory histories by multiplying the approved birthing rate or drop rate percentage for the unweaned livestock operation times the applicable cow, ewe, or nanny LBIH times 100 percent.
(v) If acceptable livestock beginning inventory history records containing information for 4 or more of the most recent calendar years are provided, calculate the livestock beginning inventory history by taking a simple average of the actual livestock beginning inventory histories.
(j) When an eligible owner claims eligible livestock were injured by an eligible loss condition and were sold for a reduced price, the owner must provide verifiable evidence of the gross sale price of the livestock. The injured livestock must be sold through an independent third party (sale barn, slaughter facility, or rendering facility). Only verifiable proof of sale with price is acceptable. The gross sale price of the livestock is the amount received for the injured livestock before any reductions, such as sale yard fees. The owner must provide verifiable evidence of livestock sold at a reduced price. Documents that may satisfy this requirement include but are not limited to, any or a combination of the following: Sales receipt from a livestock auction, sale barn, or other similar livestock sales facility; bona-fide commercial sales receipts; private insurance documents; and processing plant receipts.[79 FR 21097, Apr. 14, 2014, as amended at 83 FR 49470, Oct. 2, 2018; 85 FR 10967, Feb. 26, 2020] Editorial Note:At 85 FR 10967, Feb. 26, 2020, § 1416.305 was amended, however the material could not be incorporated for (i) introductory text and (i)(1) introductory text because the text did not publish in the Federal Register