Oklahoma Cattle Producers Have Received $833 Million In Livestock Disaster Help From Uncle SamTue, 23 Dec 2014 10:55:20 CST
One of the programs that was reinstated earlier this year as the 2014 Farm Bill became law was the Livestock Disaster Assistance Program. The help for livestock producers had lapsed two years earlier and the 2014 Farm Law went backwards and picked up those years and made help available to mostly cattle producers.
As Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas fought hard to get that program put back onto the table- and he was even successful in getting it made permanent.
As it turns out, the years where USDA was not making payments happened to find Oklahoma as GROUND ZERO for the drought that hit the southern great plains really hard.
Because of the extended drought that hit Oklahoma farmers so hard in 2011, 2012 and 2013- payments handed out this calendar year for the Livestock Forage Program- reimbursing farmers for some of their losses due to drought- found Oklahoma ranchers getting big payments.
Total outlay in the Livestock Disaster Assistance programs thus far have topped four billion dollars- a lot more than the federal government had guessed the payments would be- and Oklahoma is the state getting the most money to date- $833 million. Other states receiving the most assistance for their livestock producers include Texas ($592 million), Nebraska ($513 million), and Kansas ($451 million).
In future years, the payments will total a lot less from year to year- but this "catching up" meant three years of drought compensation was provided all in this year.
Couple these payments with all time high cattle prices- and there has been a lot of cash flowing through ranch country this year.
Colin Woodall, Vice President for Government Affairs with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, says that the money received by producers has really helped in keeping families on the ranch. He adds that some ranchers are using some of these funds to help repopulate their herds that were heavily culled over the course of the drought.
You can hear the comments that Woodall made to Farm Director Ron Hays about the monies flowing to cattle producers from the Livestock Disaster Program by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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