U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) announcement of new disaster assistance efforts. Johnson plans to continue pushing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to agree to the specific requests he made July 12 to help South Dakota producers struggling with the devastating drought conditions.
"While USDA's announcement today is another important step in mitigating the effects of the drought, I'm frustrated that the Department has not yet accepted the state FSA Committee's request to immediately open wetland and farmable wetland acres, which are the predominant CRP acres in South Dakota, to be opened for emergency haying and grazing. With each passing day, the effects of the drought get worse and worse, and I will continue pushing USDA to allow South Dakota producers to access feed for their livestock."