Livestock Forage Disaster Program payments highest during years with severe, widespread drought

Vertical bar chart showing total Livestock Forage Disaster Program annual payments between 2008 and 2022.

The USDA, Farm Service Agency administers the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), which provides payments to livestock producers affected by drought. From 2008 to 2022, the program distributed more than $12 billion (in 2022 dollars) in total to livestock producers throughout the United States. Annual LFP payments peaked in 2012 at more than $3 billion (in 2022 dollars) when severe, widespread drought conditions were prevalent throughout much of the central United States, where much of the Nation’s livestock production is concentrated. In general, years with widespread drought (such as in 2012, 2013, and 2022) are associated with larger total annual LFP payments. LFP eligibility is based on drought severity as reported by the U.S. Drought Monitor. If drought conditions become more severe and common in the future because of climate change, LFP payments may increase, with potential impact on the Federal Government’s budget. For more about the LFP and the potential impact of LFP payments on the Federal budget, see the USDA, Economic Research Service report The Stocking Impact and Financial-Climate Risk of the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, published in January 2024.

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