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Agricultural News

State Veterinarian Rod Hall Points Producers Affected by Wildfires to Available Assistance Resources

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:33:56 CDT

State Veterinarian Rod Hall Points Producers Affected by Wildfires to Available Assistance Resources State Veterinarian Rod Hall issued an open letter addressing the impact of the ongoing wildfire situation in northwest Oklahoma, offering resources and information on assistance programs to help affected producers deal with their recovery efforts.

"The wildfires continue to burn and it looks like late Friday and Saturday there are chances of rain out there so keep praying for that.

"I have two new bits of information I’d appreciate you all sharing with people who have been impacted by the wildfires. The first is attached and is the form that producers can use to begin the process of recording information for assistance with indemnity for livestock lost. It’s still important to contact the FSA office, but this form will help them know what information they need.

"The second is a reminder that in disasters like this wildlife are often forgotten. Rondi Large with WildCare Foundation in Noble, OK reached out to me and asked me to let people know that if they come across wildlife that are injured or orphaned to call her at 405-872-9338 and she will arrange transportation to get the animals to her facility for rehabilitation.

"The information below is the same I have been sending out. Hay is needed currently and fencing supplies are necessary also. Encourage people to donate through one of the three foundations listed below.

"Please keep in mind that monetary donations are the best way to help people affected by the wildfires. Hay is very useful right now, but in a short time fencing material will be needed to rebuild or repair fences. The foundations that are accepting monetary donations are listed further down in the message.

"Fire Departments and First Responders are also in need of financial assistance. Most of the departments operate on a limited budget and need funds for fuel and repair of vehicles and equipment."

If you know farmers or ranchers who have livestock, crop, hay, fence, equipment, or other losses please direct them to the Farm Service Agency Public Assistance Fact Sheet found at this link.

For producers who have lost livestock here are some tips to help them properly document their losses for possible assistance from FSA.

Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by such items as, but not limited to:

- Photographs or video records to document the loss, dated if possible;

- Applicants must provide adequate proof that the eligible livestock deaths occurred as a direct result of an eligible adverse weather event in the calendar year for which benefits are being requested. The quantity and kind of livestock that died as a direct result of the eligible event may be documented by:

- Purchase records; Veterinarian records; Bank or other loan documents; Rendering truck receipts or certificates; Federal Emergency Management Agency records; National Guard records; Written contracts; Production records; Records assembled for tax purposes; Property tax records; Private insurance documents; and Similar documents.

If adequate verifiable proof of death records documentation is not available, FSA will accept reliable records in conjunction with verifiable beginning and ending inventory records as proof of death. Reliable records may include, but are not limited to:

The take away message is the producers who experienced losses must talk with their County FSA soon to get the process started.

This information is from Woodward County OSU Extension:

Hay is one of a number of items needed by producer-victims of recent wildfires. If you are interested in donating hay, please call: (405) 496-9329, (405) 397-7912, or (405) 590-0106.

Please remember that hay from the dark blue area in the map below cannot be transported out of the area due to potential infestation with Imported Fire Ants. As much as producers need hay they don’t want to get Fire Ants started in their area.

Hay producers in the quarantine are who have Imported Fire Ant compliance agreements to sell hay outside the area are:

John Beck, Jr.; Pauls Valley, OK at 405-207-9965

Bennie Cope; Ada, OK at 580-421-3287

Randy Davidson; Ada, OK at 580-332-9289

Larry Krebs; Coalgate, OK at 580-927-5681

McCracken Hay; Elgin, OK at 580-595-1061

Lonnie Porter; Heavener, OK at 918-413-3475

Todd Simonson; Caddo, OK at 580-364-4229

Tolbert Farms; Pauls Valley, OK at 405-238-6648

Rowdy Webster; Caddo, OK at 580-889-1866

If hay is from a quarantine area, it should include the USDA APHIS stamp. These stamps are issued to producers with active IFA compliance agreements.

After FSA has been notified, carcass disposal can be accomplished by burial. Ideally the producer should work with their County NRCS officer to determine the best place to bury the livestock. But in emergency situations it is acceptable to bury them as long as Oklahoma carcass disposal guidelines are followed. Those guidelines are:

(a) Burial of dead livestock requires the construction of a pit.

(b) Be aware of where oil and gas pipelines are and avoid any underground utilitys.

(c) Do not locate the burial pit closer than one foot (1') vertically above the flood plain, or within two feet (2') of the water table or bedrock.

(d) Do not locate the burial pit within three hundred feet (300') of wells, waters of the state, neighboring residences, public areas, or property lines.

(e) After placing the deads in the trench, cover the deads with a minimum of two and a half feet (2 ½’) of topsoil. Inspect burial sites routinely to ensure that wild animals are not digging and dragging deads away.   

Steve Palladino, Oklahoma Emergency Management Preparedness/Response Manager told me that it is acceptable for County Commissioners to assist livestock owners in burying carcasses if there is a “Hold Harmless Agreement” between the County and the property/livestock owner.

Last year, oil and gas companies donated equipment and time to assist producers in burying dead livestock. There is no formal agreement but if a producer has a relationship with a company he/she could consider asking for assistance.

Also, three relief funds have been established through various foundations for those wishing to make a donation to the wildfire efforts. The on-going wildfires have already affected many in Western Oklahoma. Those wishing to make a contribution to the relief efforts can do so through the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation or the Farmers Union Foundation, Inc. 100% of the donations will be distributed to the relief efforts. Here is information for each foundation:

Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation - Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation with “Fire Relief” in the memo line and mail to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit www.okcattlemen.org.

Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation - Make checks payable to the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation with “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line and mail to 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. To donate online, visit www.okfarmingandranching.org.

Oklahoma Farmers Union Foundation - Make checks payable to Farmers Union Foundation, Inc., with “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line and mail to the attention of Wildfire Relief at P.O. Box 24000, Oklahoma City, OK 73124.

"If you have friends, relatives, classmates, etc. in the area please check on them and offer support if at all possible.

"Thanks and God bless the people affected, the firefighters and first responders, and the people who I know will step up to assist."



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