Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., Wednesday introduced the Livestock Disaster Protection Act, under which the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Livestock Forage Program and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program would be extended for five years and would apply retroactively to cover losses in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
"While cattlemen and women need the certainty that would be provided through a permanent disaster program in a full five year farm bill and we continue to work toward that goal, we appreciate the efforts of all members of Congress in keeping disaster assistance part of the national dialogue," said Scott George, National Cattlemen's Beef Association President. "The continued drought which has now covered more than 70% of cattle country has impacted all of our ranches. Cattle producers need the tools necessary to manage the risks associated with mother-nature."
The nation's livestock producers have been hard hit, with the current drought across the country only adding to the effects caused by multi-year droughts in some of the largest cattle production areas, NCBA says.
The drought has been a major factor in lower yields and subsequent high costs for hay and feed grains, forcing many ranchers to sell their cattle.
"The risk our farmers, ranchers and all livestock owners take is undeniable," said Rep. Noem. "The extreme weather we see across America - from drought to flood to freezes to the extreme heat - demonstrates the importance of providing a strong safety net. My bill gives some long-term certainty to our livestock owners so they'll keep on taking the risk to contribute to our state and nation's robust agriculture industry."
Rep. Noem had previously introduced this legislation on April 26, 2012. The House of Representatives voted to approve livestock disaster assistance on Aug. 2, 2012, by a vote of 223-197.