In response to the severe drought conditions across the west, as well as the Great Plains, the USDA says it plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing. USDA will update the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) to immediately cover feed transportation costs for drought-impacted ranchers. The Farm Service Agency will provide more details and tools to help ranchers get ready to apply at their local USDA Service Center later this month. Details will be available on the FSA Website.

“USDA is currently determining how our disaster assistance programs can best help alleviate the significant economic, physical, and emotional strain agriculture producers are experiencing due to drought conditions,” said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.

ELAP already covers the cost of hauling water during drought, and this change will expand the program beginning in 2021 to cover feed transportation costs where grazing and hay resources have been depleted. Cost-share assistance will also be made available to cover eligible costs of treating hay and feed to prevent the spread of invasive pests.

“Today’s announcement is intended to provide relief as ranchers make fall and winter herd management decisions,” Vilsack adds.

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