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Deadline for livestock assistance grants is Nov. 13

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AUSTIN - Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs recently reminded eligible livestock producers in 216 Texas counties applications for the federally-funded Livestock Assistance Grant Program must be postmarked by Nov. 13.

'The application must be postmarked by Nov. 13, 2006, and mailed to TDA headquarters in Austin,' Combs said.

The application must be addressed to Livestock Assistance Grant Program, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, TX 78711.

Incomplete applications and applications postmarked after Nov. 13 will not be considered.

Applications are available on TDA's Web site at www.agr. state.tx.us; at all TDA offices;
and at Texas Cooperative Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency county offices in the 216 eligible Texas counties.

Although local Cooperative Extension and FSA staff may have basic knowledge of the program, they will not have received specific training on the program, so producers with any questions are encouraged to call TDA at (512) 463-2459 or 1-800-TELL-TDA (1-800-835-5832).

To qualify for LAGP funds, a producer must meet all the following criteria:

• Must have suffered livestock forage production losses because of drought conditions from March 7 through Aug. 31, 2006 (eligibility period);
• Must have a livestock operation that suffered forage production losses in one or more of the 216 Texas counties classified as D3 Drought-Extreme or D4 Drought-Exceptional during the eligibility period; and
• Must have raised adult beef cattle two years of age and older and sheep one year of age and older for commercial use as part of a farming operation during the eligibility period.

Forage production losses may include costs incurred to buy supplemental feed and hay, costs to relocate livestock to new pastures, feed transportation costs, the cost of emergency water supplies and the loss of forage production including hay and pasture.

Funds will be paid on a per head basis. Per head payment rates will be determined by the total number of livestock claimed by all eligible applicants and will differ for cattle and sheep based on standard animal units.

The per head payment rate will be determined after all applications are received and processed.

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