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February 18, 2014

Farm Bureau Urges Timely Release of Disaster Aid For Farmers

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The 2014 farm bill includes disaster aid provisions for livestock forage, livestock indemnity and the tree assistance program, all of which have been expired for a couple of years. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyFarmers who suffered losses in 2012 and 2013 haven’t received assistance, but Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau farm policy specialist, says those payments will be made retroactively.
ThatcherThe really good news is that we made the payments going forward permanent so that they won’t expire again at the end of five years if we happen to not get this farm bill done.
OtterbyJust thinking about the snow disaster in South Dakota and Nebraska a few months ago and the resulting livestock losses, Thatcher says it’s not hard to see there really are circumstances beyond farmers’ control, and they need disaster assistance.
ThatcherWhat you’re really seeing this week is a big emphasis on California and the drought. You’re seeing the president and Secretary Vilsack out there talking about how these programs will be implemented very soon.
OtterbyAFBF appreciates USDA’s plans to write nearly 1,000 regulations by April 15th and distribute payments soon after.
ThatcherWe and lots of other folks have been encouraging them to prioritize putting out livestock disaster payments. We think that’s great news.
OtterbyThatcher suggests farmers and ranchers start pulling data and information together now about their losses, as USDA will need that documentation before distributing payments. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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