Senator Johanns e-Update
August 15, 2012
While traveling across Nebraska, I’ve witnessed firsthand the drought-stricken fields and pastures stretching from Scottsbluff to the Missouri River. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that ag producers in all 93 Nebraska counties are now eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency loans on a case-by-case basis.
I have contacted USDA on multiple occasions to ensure necessary actions are taken to help relieve pressure on our state’s producers. In response, USDA opened Conservation Reserve Program lands for emergency haying and grazing, provided financial and technical assistance to help crop and livestock producers in several states, including Nebraska, and recently announced that it will purchase $170 million worth of meat products for federal food nutrition assistance programs. For information on what assistance is available for you, please contact your local USDA office at http://www.fsa.usda.gov or 402-437-5581.
This is one of the most severe droughts in our country’s history, and it is important we do everything we can to help producers manage these kinds of risks. I recently visited the National Drought Mitigation Center, where experts are monitoring every aspect of the drought’s impact—from livestock welfare to insect populations. Their comprehensive coverage provides risk management information and best practices for those coping with the lack of moisture. They also offer informed suggestions to state and federal officials on how to assist through thoughtful policy.
I will continue to monitor the ongoing drought and push for responsible efforts to reduce strain on our producers. For more information on the drought, and my work to provide assistance to Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers, visit my web page HERE.