USDA to help with feed freight in drought areas

In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the Agriculture Department this week announced that plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing.

USDA is updating the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to immediately cover feed transportation costs for drought impacted ranchers.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide more details and tools to help ranchers get ready to apply at their local USDA Service Center later this month, FSA said.

FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux, a South Dakota rancher, traveled to Bismarck, N.D., for an event with Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member John Hoeven, R-N.D., to announce details of the program.

Hoeven said the program would provide producers impacted by severe drought with 60% reimbursement of their feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year.

Hoeven said that previously, ELAP only compensated producers for the cost of hauling water, but now, producers will be eligible for reimbursement of feed transportation costs incurred on or after January 1, 2021 in locations where:

▪ Drought intensity is D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor;

▪ Drought intensity is D3 (extreme drought) or greater; or

▪ USDA has determined a shortage of local or regional feed availability.

–The Hagstrom Report

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