Hoeven: Ranchers Affected by Drought Eligible for Livestock Forage Payments

Fifteen Counties in North Dakota Qualify as Extreme Drought So Far in 2017

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that ranchers in counties affected by drought are eligible to receive payments under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). Producers become eligible if any area of a county where they own or lease grazing land or pastureland, including the use of federal rangelands, is affected by drought during the normal grazing period. The U.S. Drought Monitor map of North Dakota can be found here.

The amount of payment received depends on the intensity and length of drought experienced. So far in 2017, 15 North Dakota counties have experienced extreme drought, also known as D3 intensity, and are immediately eligible. For counties under severe drought, or D2 intensity, eligibility begins after eight consecutive weeks of drought. Ranchers can apply for payments at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, and applications must be submitted within 30 calendars days after the end of the calendar year in which the grazing loss occurred.

“The current drought conditions have placed enormous pressure on our ranchers, forcing many of them to sell off their livestock,” Hoeven said. “The Livestock Forage Program offers relief to ranchers in the hardest hit counties. I encourage all of our eligible ranchers to contact their local FSA offices and apply for assistance.”

Today’s announcement is part of Hoeven’s ongoing work as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee to support ag producers facing tough times due to drought and low commodity prices. Hoeven recently led the state’s congressional delegation in pressing USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide assistance to North Dakota ranchers facing early season drought conditions by allowing emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres. The senator is also working to maintain strong funding for the farm safety net and rural communities.