Damage to Standing Forage
Agriculture producers can get compensation due to wildlife damage to some harvested and unharvested crops by enrolling in the Agriculture Wildlife Program.
You may qualify for compensation if unharvested forage crop (grass, cereals or legumes) intended for livestock feed has been damaged by wildlife. Stored feed losses are not eligible.
Crops are not eligible when:
- Grown on land considered unsuitable for crop production
- Intended for lure or intercept feeding
- Grown on land which cannot be mechanically harvested
- A producer does not have the ability to harvest, either mechanically or with sufficient livestock
- Seeded too late to expect a normal yield
- Used as volunteer crops or growth
- Damaged by wildlife not listed
- Livestock have remained in the field after winter dormancy, or entered the field prior to adjustment, and/or have not been withdrawn from a field during the growing cycle. Rotational grazing must allow for sufficient regrowth and recovery between grazing cycles.
- Harvested prior to inspection
- Intended for grain, seed or any purpose other than forage
- Losses cannot be assessed or the minimum production level has not been achieved
- Fields are not capable of producing a minimum production of 0.5 ton/acre of forage
- It's possible to produce another agricultural crop on the damaged area in the same growing year, or reseed an affected area
- Damage occurs after the crop should have been harvested, or loss occurs after the end of the growing year (November 30)
Producers must be registered by the following dates each crop year:
- April 30 - irrigated/multiple cuts
- June 15 -dryland/single cut
Compensation is available for multiple cuts including aftermath grazing. If applying for aftermath grazing you must demonstrate that there is the ability and capacity to graze the field(s).
In order to be eligible for compensation you must:
- File a Notice of Loss (NOL) specifying wildlife damage as soon as wildlife damage is detected, prior to harvest
- Notify us seven days prior to harvest
- Be prepared to show the adjusters where wildlife damage has occurred
- Provide a grazing plan for those fields which are intended for grazing
- Demonstrate a reasonable expectation of crop harvest
- Provide us with a satisfactory Declaration of Production
* Automatic crop insurance registration does not preclude your obligations for loss reporting.
Compare undamaged areas of the field and help in the assessment of crop damage by using enclosures. Without enclosures compensation may be reduced.
Enclosures are the responsibility of the landowner and need to be placed in representative areas of the field where wildlife frequent.
The following guidelines should be followed when designing and locating a grazing enclosure:
- There must be a minimum of one square meter of un-grazed forage crop inside the enclosure.
- The enclosure must be sturdy enough to resist pressures from wildlife in the fields and may need to be staked at the corners.
- Use one to three cages per field; larger fields may require more. A field can be defined as crop of the same age, composition and growing capability.
- The cage must be high enough to prevent animals from reaching over the top.
- Ensure the fencing/paneling is tight enough to prevent animals from reaching in.
- Use a cover to prevent wildlife from entering the enclosure.
Place the cages in areas that represent the areas in the field where damage will occur, typically beside forested areas, parts of fields near riparian areas or any other area where you commonly see wildlife impacts.
Stucco wire is best for deer and elk as chicken wire is too weak and flexible. Build the framework from 2”X4” lumber and place rebar metal posts/T-bar/wooden stakes 30 cm in the ground. Use an X frame across the top to stabilize. Use PVC pipe and hardwire cloth wire or fishnet for waterfowl.
Use livestock panels fastened together (four per cage) or anything that will not inhibit growth within the cage and will keep wildlife from grazing inside.
When placing enclosures be aware of:
- Low places
- Wet areas
- Hill tops
- Areas in the field which have had soil amendments/fertilizer that the field as a whole may not have received