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Livestock disaster aid in 60 days

Senator John Thune (R-SD), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee had praise Thursday for a USDA announcement that it plans to have the livestock disaster programs that were recently reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill available for sign up in 60 days. This news comes following a February 5th letter led by Thune and other senators, urging USDA to expedite implementation of the livestock disaster programs.

“This is good news for the livestock producers who suffered back to back grazing and livestock death losses in 2012 and 2013,” Thune said in a statement. “Once signup begins for these livestock disaster programs, USDA needs to also expedite the application approval and payments processes as well so these livestock producers can receive the financial assistance they desperately need as quickly as possible.”

Thune authored the first-ever multi-year agriculture disaster assistance programs in the 2008 Farm Bill, which provided timely disaster payments to farmers and ranchers from 2008 through 2011. These programs were reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill retroactive to cover 2012 and 2013 losses. Thune secured a 10-year baseline for livestock disaster programs to ensure they will not expire before the end of the 2014 Farm Bill which expires in 2018.

Thune's staff told Agriculture.com that they haven't yet seen details about how farmers and ranchers can apply for the disaster assistance "but we imagine it will look similar to the 2011 process."

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