Austin/Washington County July 2022 Updates

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US Department of Agriculture

 Austin/Washington County July Updates -  July 25, 2022

Austin & Washington Eligible for Disaster Assistance for 2022 Livestock Forage Losses (LFP)

Producers in Austin County are eligible to apply for 2022 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) benefits on native and improved pasture.

LFP provides compensation if you suffer grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought on privately owned or cash leased land or fire on federally managed land.

County committees can only accept LFP applications after notification is received by the National Office of qualifying drought or if a federal agency prohibits producers from grazing normal permitted livestock on federally managed lands due to qualifying fire. You must complete a CCC-853 and the required supporting documentation no later than January 30, 2023, for 2022 losses.

Surrounding Counties that have also become eligible: Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Waller and Wharton.

For additional information about LFP, including eligible livestock and fire criteria, contact the Austin/Washington County FSA office at 979-865-3138 x2. 

USDA Reminds Livestock Producers of Available Drought Assistance (ELAP)

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds drought-impacted producers that they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) to cover above normal expenses for hauling water or feed to livestock or hauling livestock to forage or grazing acres.

For eligible producers in qualifying counties, ELAP provides financial assistance for:

  • the transportation of water to livestock;
  • the above normal cost of mileage for transporting feed to livestock,
  • the above normal cost of transporting livestock to forage/grazing acres.*

*Hauling livestock one-way, one haul per animal reimbursement and no payment for “empty miles.”

Eligible livestock include cattle, bison, goats and sheep, among others, that are maintained for commercial use and located in a county where qualifying drought conditions occur. A county must have had D2 severe drought intensity on the U.S. Drought Monitor for eight consecutive weeks during the normal grazing period, or D3 or D4 drought intensity at any time during the normal grazing period. Producers must have risk in both eligible livestock and eligible grazing land in an eligible county to qualify for ELAP assistance.

Transporting Livestock 

ELAP provides financial assistance to livestock producers who are hauling livestock to a new location for feed resources due to insufficient feed or grazing in drought-impacted areas. As with transporting feed, the payment formula for transporting livestock excludes the first 25 miles and any mileage over 1,000 miles. The reimbursement rate is 60% of the costs above what would normally have been incurred during the same time period in a normal (non-drought) year.

An online tool is now available to help ranchers document and estimate payments to cover feed and livestock transportation costs caused by drought. Download the tool and view the demonstration video.

Transporting Water 

For ELAP water transportation assistance, producers must be transporting water to eligible livestock on eligible grazing land where adequate livestock watering systems or facilities were in place before the drought occurred and where water transportation is not normally required. ELAP covers costs associated with personal labor, equipment, hired labor, and contracted water transportation fees. Cost of the water itself is not covered. The ELAP payment formula uses a national average price per gallon.

Transporting Feed 

ELAP provides financial assistance to livestock producers who incur above normal expenses for transporting feed to livestock during drought. The payment formula excludes the first 25 miles and any mileage over 1,000 miles. The reimbursement rate is 60% of the costs above what would normally have been incurred during the same time period in a normal (non-drought) year.

Reporting Losses

For calendar year 2022 forward, producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent. Producers should contact FSA as soon as the loss of water or feed resources are known.

For ELAP eligibility, documentation of expenses is critical. Producers should maintain records and receipts associated with the costs of transporting water to eligible livestock, the costs of transporting feed to eligible livestock, and the costs of transporting eligible livestock to forage or other grazing acres.

Additional Drought Assistance

ELAP assistance is also available to producers impacted by wildfire. Contact the local FSA office for more information on ELAP resources for wildfire losses. Additionally, beekeepers can benefit from ELAP provisions and should contact their county FSA office within 15 calendar days of when a loss occurs or is apparent.

FSA is now accepting applications for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) to provide financial assistance to eligible producers for 2022 grazing losses due to a qualifying drought or fire. The deadline to apply for 2022 LFP assistance is Jan. 30, 2023.

More than 200 Texas counties have met the drought severity levels that trigger LFP eligibility for the 2022 program year. For LFP, qualifying drought triggers are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor.  A list of LFP eligible counties and grazing crops can be found on the FSA Texas webpage.

More Information

Additional disaster assistance information can be found on, including the Drought WebpageDisaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool

Austin/Washington County FSA Office Is Hiring

The Austin/Washington County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Bellville is hiring a full time Program Technician (PT). The deadline to apply is August 4, 2022.

Duties include general office activities supporting FSA programs administered at the field level. Successful applicants must be reliable, have a professional attitude and enjoy working with the public.

If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested, please share this information with them. Here is the direct link to the position with information on how to apply: .

Applications must be completed through USAJOBs no later than close of business August 4, 2022. 

Contact Steven Pawelek at 979-865-3138 x2 if you have specific questions regarding the position.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. 


Austin / Washington County USDA Service Center

1351 W Main St
Suite A
Bellville, Tx 77418

Phone:1-979-865-3138 x2
Farm Program Fax: 1-844-496-7088
Farm Loan Fax: 1-844-496-7556

Austin/Washington FSA
Steven Pawelek
County Executive Director
979-865-3138 ext. 2

Austin/Washington FSA
Irby McWilliams
Farm Loan Manager
979-865-3138 ext. 2

Austin County NRCS
Brad Kieschnick
District Conservationist
Mobile - 979-270-2625
Office - 979-865-3139 Ext.

Washington County NRCS
Ben Garcia
District Conservationist 
Mobile - 979-277-4240
Office - 979-830-7123 Ext.3

County Committee meets 4th
Monday of every month. The next
regular scheduled meetings is: 

July 27, 2022 at 8:30am 

2022 County Committee:
Bradley Rinn, Chairperson
Roy Schmidt. Vice-Chairperson
David Groschke, Member 
Stephen Bliznak, Member
Alfred Hall Sr, Advisor