Farm Bill Could Provide Relief For Ranchers

Nebraska’s drought continues and it’s taking its toll across the state, even in the pasture with cattle.

A lot of producers say they had to sell a lot of cattle,” said Jordan Dux, the National Affairs Coordinator for the Nebraska Farms Bureau. “Normally the summer livestock barns slow down, not the case this year. (There’s) a lot of selling. Drought (is the) main reason; lack of pasture out there and lack of hay. Producers had to sell animals.”

Those sales are at low prices because so many producers are looking to thing their herds. It’s just too expensive for many. They need help. Help they had the last four years with disaster assistance under the farm bill, but the funding is gone.

To make the farm bill cheaper it was funded only 4 not 5 year and we need this year,” he said. “And we needed it this year, yes.”

Congress is trying to pass a one year extension of the farm bill that would bring back funding and assistance programs for producers in need, that could come as early as Wednesday.

“General agreement to help with drought mitigation for livestock,” Dux added. “Trying to pass those programs and grant one year extension on the farm bill to buy time.”

For now, producers are doing their best to keep their herds strong. There is some tax help available for producers in disaster declared counties, including holding off on declaring sale income for a year and having up to four years to replace your cattle.

Some help is better than none. But experts and producers expect more needed down.

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