Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the U.S. House of Representatives have approved legislation to help livestock producers cope with the devastating drought conditions. This legislation reauthorizes the livestock disaster assistance programs that expired at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.
"As farmers and ranchers across Missouri face the worst drought in decades, I was pleased legislators in Washington came together to provide disaster assistance and relief to those cattle producers facing severe shortages of hay for their livestock," said Congresswoman Hartzler.
"With most of Missouri's Fourth District experiencing severe drought conditions, this legislation will be helpful to producers," continued Hartzler. "Missouri ranks second in the nation in the number of cow-calf operations. As pastures and ponds dry up, farmers and ranchers need to purchase hay to keep their herds alive. The Livestock Forage Program provides this necessary assistance to producers during times of extreme drought."
"A one year extension of the disaster programs that expired in September of 2011 will help producers purchase hay and grain during this extreme drought and provide some compensation for farmers who lose animals to the heat," noted Hartzler. "The bill also fully offsets the costs by finding savings elsewhere in the budget, which is important in these tight financial times."
"Drought conditions in Missouri's Fourth District and across the state have continued to worsen," added Hartzler. "While I support this relief package, it remains important for Congress to take up and pass the five-year Farm Bill to provide certainty for all agriculture producers and for the American consumer."
Vicky Hartzler, a working farmer, serves on the House Agriculture Committee.