Farm Bureau Says USDA Action Will Help Nationís Farmers and Ranchers
The American Farm Bureau Federation welcomes the emergency actions U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday to provide assistance to the farm and ranch families suffering from the drought. For many farmers and ranchers - Farm Bureau says USDA's actions will result in immediate flexibility in the nation's major conservation programs - helping to provide crucial assistance to hard-hit livestock producers. But the group says there are areas of the nation that may require expedited assistance due to established grazing prohibitions. Farm Bureau says these prohibitions would prevent grazing until the nutritional value of the grazing plants has totally been diminished by the drought.
Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says the drought has reached crisis proportions in certain parts of the country. He says Farm Bureau appreciates the responsiveness and understanding exhibited by Secretary Vilsack during this drought-related emergency. The group is also hopeful - he says - that Vilsack will consider additional action for specific parts of the country where additional grazing prohibitions are in place.
Stallman notes a record 54-percent of pasture and rangeland is in poor or very poor conditions. As available feeding and grazing land is becoming depleted - feed prices are rising - and some farmers and ranchers have begun to liquidate their livestock herds.
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