Agriculture department offers help to those who lost livestock, pasture, trees or bees in NM wildfires

By: - May 12, 2022 7:43 am

Buffalo in a field several miles away from the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fires in Mora County. (Photo by Shaun Griswold / Source New Mexico)

The United States Agriculture Department recently released a list of resources to farmers, growers and ranchers affected by the New Mexico wildfires. 

Biden approves disaster funding for NM wildfires: Here’s how to apply and what it covers

About 3,800 adults who live within the Santa Fe National Forest boundaries are employed on farms, according to the socioeconomic assessment published by the federal Forest Service in 2018.

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of northern New Mexicans have fled their homes due to the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak fire, which has burned more than 238,000 acres and destroyed at least 166 structures. It’s the second-biggest fire in New Mexico history. 

The total amount of damage to livestock or agriculture has not yet been released, but the federal Agriculture Department is making sure individual producers are aware of the assistance programs available to them. 

Available programs:

Livestock Indemnity Program

Producers who lost livestock due to the wildfires can apply. To qualify, they’ll have to provide documentation of death losses resulting from the wildfires or other adverse weather event, and submit a notice of loss to their local farm service agency. (A list of those is here).

The producer must file the notice within 30 calendar days of when the livestock loss is apparent. 

Emergency Livestock Assistance Program

Producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish can receive emergency help after losses due to adverse weather events including those from wildfires on non-federal grazing lands. 

To qualify, a producer must file a notice to a farm service agency within 30 days and file for honeybee losses within 15 days. More information can be found here, including a tool to help estimate losses. 

Livestock Forage Disaster Program and Tree Assistance Program

Ranchers who lost grazing area on federally managed lands due to wildfires can receive benefits through this program. A local farm service agency maintains a list of counties eligible. 

Additionally, those who run orchards or nurseries can get federal help covering some costs through the Tree Assistance Program for trees, bushes or vines lost during wildfires. 

To receive the TAP money, a program application must be filed within 90 days. More information on that can be found here


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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard.