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SDSU Extension Releases Information About Bison Livestock Assistance Program

Jeff Martin, Director of Research for the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies, and Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian recently published updated information to help bison producers learn more about the specifics of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency indemnity program. The most recent information can be found in an article entitled, published updates to the USDA FSA: Bison herds affected with Mycoplasma bovis now eligible for livestock assistance programs, carcass disposal assistance also available.article.

The article can be found by visiting the SDSU Extension webpage

The USDA FSA has announced that bison death losses resulting from Mycoplasma bovis are now eligible for the livestock indemnity program (LIP), retroactive for 2021. Producers Martin and Daly say producers should coordinate with their local USDA FSA office or USDA Service Center to finalize their notice of loss and LIP application for payment. The filing deadline is February 28. All Mycoplasma-related deaths in 2022 and in future years should be reported within 30 calendar days from the ending date of the eligible loss condition.

Qualifying losses include losses greater than 5.0% in bison smaller than 400 lbs. (immature) and/or greater than 1.5% in bison larger than 400 lbs. (mature). Moreover, you must provide acceptable proof:

  1. Of a beginning inventory prior to infection that year and a final tally of deaths by four categories: Bison less than 400 lbs., broken down by males and females, and bison greater than 400 lbs., broken down by males and females.
  2. That your property experienced adverse weather event(s) within a reasonable timeframe before the bison died, including but not limited to extreme cold, oscillating temperatures, precipitation, or drought;
  3. Your local veterinarian’s certification of death loss attributed to Mycoplasma bovis. This may include, but is not limited to, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test of at least one animal to confirm that Mycoplasma bovis was present in the individual and that symptoms were present in the remaining individuals
    1. Under supervision and recommendation of your local veterinarian, the FSA allows euthanasia of your animals that are suffering from symptoms of Mycoplasma bovis, but still require to be verified that they had Mycoplasma (see PCR test example above). Your local veterinarian will need to include this in the certification statement.

For more information about the assistance program, visit

For more additional information, contact Jeff Martin, Director of Research for the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies, at or 605-394-2236.