Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA will utilize nearly $16 million in financial and technical assistance to immediately help crop and livestock producers in 19 states cope with the adverse affects of the historic drought. USDA also will initiate a transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program. These funds can be used to assist in moving water to livestock in need, providing emergency forage for livestock and rehabilitating lands severely affected by the drought. Together these efforts should provide nearly $30 million to producers struggling with drought conditions.
According to Vilsack, “This additional assistance builds on a number of steps USDA has taken over the past few weeks to provide resources and flexibility in our existing programs to help producers endure these serious hardships.” Within the last month, USDA has opened the Conservation Reserve Program to emergency haying and grazing, lowered the borrower interest rate for emergency loans and has worked with crop insurance companies to provide more flexibility to farmers. Read the USDA news release for additional information.
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