Drought Relief Offered Throughout West

Colorado, Montana, Nevada specify assistance programs.

Published on: Oct 5, 2012

Colorado Gov. John Hickenllooper has signed an Executive Order to suspend permits necessary for transport of large baled hay of baled livestock feed which may exceed maximum height to help drought-stricken livestock producers.

"Large areas of Colorado have experienced devastating damage from drought," the order states. "This has severely impacted the ability of Colorado livestock producers to acquire the requisite amount of feed for their animals. As winter approaches, such restrictions put Colorado livestock in severe danger and producers require immediate assistance to meet their requirements."

Western livestock drought threats are the subject of new federal and state programs.
Western livestock drought threats are the subject of new federal and state programs.

The order suspends rules that prevent the state from issuing single-trip, extra-legal permits for divisible loads of baled hay or baled livestock feed of heights ranging from 14 feet, 6 inches to 15 feet. The order will say in effect until Oct. 21.

Montana producers also benefit from new drought declarations, with 11 additional counties declared natural disaster areas and producers there eligible for Farm Service Agency low-interest emergency loans.

Four counties – Broadwater, Gallatin, Jefferson and Silver Bow – are now primary disaster areas, while seven others – Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Meagher, Park and Powell – are declared contiguous disaster areas.

Eligible producers have eight months from the date of each designation – in this case, Sept. 7 – to apply for emergency loans, which come with a maximum of $500,000.

New drought actions are also announced for Nevada to help recovery under the Emergency Conservation Program administered by the FSA.

Farms and ranches in Churchill, Washoe and northwest Nye counties experiencing severe drought impacts may be eligible for the cost-share assistance if water for livestock has been reduced below normal to the extent that animals cannot survive without additional water.

Producers under the Nevada program have until Nov. 3 to apply for assistance. A qualifying livestock operator may receive cost shares of up to 50% of a project expense for permanent practice, and 75% of the cost of temporary fixes.