Luján Highlights USDA Disaster Assistance to New Mexico Farmers and Producers Impacted by Wildfires and Flooding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, highlighted disaster assistance to New Mexicans made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers across New Mexico recover from recent wildfires, drought, and related heavy rain and flooding.

In June, Senators Luján and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) met with families, local and Tribal leaders, firefighters, first responders, and emergency operation commanders in Roswell, Ruidoso, and the Mescalero Apache Reservation, discussing the response to the South Fork and Salt Fires. Senator Luján also launched a resource guide for impacted New Mexicans.

“With fires and flooding across New Mexico, it’s critical that the federal government does everything possible to help families recover. This USDA disaster assistance announcement for farmers and producers is crucial to help cover losses and damage,” said Luján. “As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I will continue fighting for the farmers, ranchers, and producers who put food on our tables and contribute to our economy.”

USDA announced the following disaster assistance:

Wildfire Recovery 

Producers who experience livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality or sell injured livestock at a reduced price may be eligible for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).  To participate in LIP, producers will have to provide acceptable documentation of death losses or evidence of reduced sales resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) no later than the annual program payment application date, which is 60 calendar days following the calendar year in which the loss occurred. The LIP payment application and notice of loss deadline is March 3, 2025, for 2024 calendar year losses. Livestock producers who experience losses related to wildfire should check with their local FSA office for LIP eligibility criteria.   

Meanwhile, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides eligible producers with compensation for feed and grazing losses and transportation cost associated with transporting feed/forage to livestock and livestock to feed.  For ELAP, producers are required to complete a notice of loss and a payment application to their local FSA office no later than Jan. 30, 2025, for 2024 calendar year losses. 

Additionally, eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers may be eligible for cost-share assistance through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes or vines. TAP complements the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) or crop insurance coverage, which covers the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases. For TAP, a program application must be filed within 90 days of the disaster event or the date when the loss of the trees, bushes or vines is apparent.   

“We understand that as you work to recover, you’ll be pulled in many directions, so when you’re able, please reach out to your local FSA county office to report losses and damages — the sooner we have the information, the sooner we can get county committee action on your requests for assistance and issue payments,” said Jonas Moya, State Executive Director for FSA in New Mexico. “When you visit our offices, remember to bring loss documentation with you. Our staff will work with the documentation you have available including farm records, herd inventory, receipts and pictures or video of damages or losses.” 

FSA also offers a variety of direct and guaranteed farm loans, including operating and emergency farm loans, to producers unable to secure commercial financing. Producers in counties with a primary or contiguous disaster designation may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Loans can help producers replace essential property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, cover family living expenses or refinance farm-related debts and other needs.  

Additionally, FSA offers several loan servicing options available for borrowers who are unable to make scheduled payments on their farm loan programs debt to the agency because of reasons beyond their control. 

The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL) provides low-interest financing so producers can build, repair, replace, or upgrade facilities to store commodities. Loan terms vary from three to 12 years. Producers who incurred damage to or loss of their equipment or infrastructure funded by the FSFL program should contact their insurance agent and their local USDA Service Center. Producers in need of on-farm storage should also contact USDA.   

Risk Management 

Producers who have risk protection through federal crop insurance or FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) should report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or FSA office, respectively. If they have crop insurance, producers should provide a notice of loss to their agent within 72 hours of initial discovery of damage and follow up in writing within 15 days. 

For NAP covered crops, a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form must be filed within 15 days of the loss becoming apparent, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be reported within 72 hours. 


Outside of the primary nesting season, emergency and non-emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres may be authorized to provide relief to livestock producers in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disasters. Producers interested in haying or grazing of CRP acres should contact their county FSA office to determine eligibility. 

FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) can assist landowners with financial and technical assistance to remove debris from farmland such as woody material, sand, rock and materials from collapsed hoop houses/high tunnels on cropland or pastureland. Through the program, FSA can provide assistance toward the restoration or replacement of fences including livestock cross fences, boundary fences, cattle gates or wildlife exclusion fences on agricultural land. 

Additionally, the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) can assist eligible owners of nonindustrial private forestland to also restore the land by removing debris, repairing forestland roads, and replacing fence. For both programs, farmers and ranchers should check with their local FSA office to find out about sign-up periods, which are set by the FSA County Committee. 

Assistance for Communities 

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also administers the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program, which provides assistance to local government sponsors with the cost of addressing watershed impairments or hazards such as debris removal and streambank stabilization.  The EWP Program is a recovery effort aimed at relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural disasters. All projects must have an eligible project sponsor. NRCS may bear up to 75% of the eligible construction cost of emergency measures (90% within county-wide limited-resource areas as identified by the U.S. Census data). The remaining costs must come from local sources and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services. 

EWP is designed for installation of recovery measures to safeguard life and property as a result of a natural disaster. Threats that the EWP Program addresses are termed watershed impairments. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Debris-clogged waterways. 
  • Unstable streambanks. 
  •  Severe erosion jeopardizing public infrastructure. 
  • Wind-borne debris removal.

Eligible sponsors include cities, counties, towns or any federally recognized Native American tribe or tribal organizations. Sponsors must be able to provide the local construction share, obtain permits and site access and agree to perform operations and maintenance of the constructed projects. Willing sponsors must submit a formal request (by mail or email) to the state conservationist for assistance within 60 days of the natural disaster occurrence or 60 days from the date when access to the sites become available. For more information, potential sponsors should contact their local NRCS office

In addition to EWP, Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) is another valuable service that NRCS can provide following a wildfire. NRCS technical assistance can help fire victims with planning cost-effective post fire restoration practices.  

2022 Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Wildfire Assistance 

The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office, created through legislation led by Senator Luján, can provide compensation for costs associated with the 2022 Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon wildfire and subsequent flooding. Farmers and ranchers who experienced losses from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon wildfire in 2022 have until Nov. 14, 2024, to file a notice of loss with the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office. The claims office has locations in Mora, Las Vegas and Santa Fe and can be reached by calling the Helpline at 505-995-7133. Download the guide for instructions on how to develop and submit a claim. 

More Information 

Additional USDA disaster assistance information can be found on, including USDA resources specifically for producers impacted by tornadoes and flooding. Those resources include the Disaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, Loan Assistance Tool, and Natural Disasters and Crop Insurance fact sheet. Additionally, FarmRaise offers an FSA educational hubwith LIP and ELAP decision tools as well as farm loan resource videos. For FSA and NRCS programs, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.      

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit



Filter & Sort Results

Date Range
Date Range
Sort Results