USDA’s Farm Service Agency has revised its compensation levels for 2018 bison loss claims filed under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), with some rates more than double previous levels. The National Bison Association, which had requested the revisions, praised the FSA’s action but repeated its request to have the rates adjusted for 2017 claims as well. USDA’s LIP provides benefits for livestock deaths in certain conditions, including adverse weather, wildfires and eligible disease and predator attacks. Payments are supposed to equal 75 percent of the animal’s market value. Compensation rates in recent years, however, have averaged less than 30 percent of market value. Under a new table published for 2018, compensation rates for bison calves less than 400 pounds were raised to $1,223.84, from $447.67. Yearling compensation rates were moved to $1,975.46, from $951.06; and mature cow losses are now compensated at $1,790.61, compared to $914.34 last year. The Bison Association has asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to adjust the rates for 2017 as well because of losses suffered by bison producers in South Dakota from a devastating fire in the Black Hills in December.
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