Help Coming for N.D. Livestock Producers

Legislature nears approval for $1-million interest buy down program.

Published on: May 4, 2009

The North Dakota Legislature is nearing approval of $1 million for an Ag Pace loan program to help livestock producers rebuild their herds

"The winter storms and subsequent flooding this year have been devastating to the state's livestock industry," Goehring said at a Monday news conference. "This program will enable producers to begin replenishing their foundation herds and repairing damage to their buildings and other infrastructure," says Doug Goehring, North Dakota agriculture commissioner.

The program, which will be administered by the Bank of North Dakota, will offer an interest buy down of up to five points to qualified farmers and livestock producers on loans for purchasing income-producing assets, such as cows and cow-calf pairs, and for building fence, corrals and other structures.

Participating producers must be able to demonstrate financial loss. The maximum interest buy down assistance per borrower is $20,000.

According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota State University Extension Service, 91,000 head of cattle, including 19,000 adult animals and 72,000 calves, died this past winter and spring, as a result of weather conditions and flooding. The value loss is estimated at $55 million.

"These numbers are likely to increase as flood waters recede, and we continue to evaluate losses and damages," Goehring says. "The flooding has also ruined hay and other feedstocks that were already in short supply and damaged barnyard buildings, livestock handling facilities and pasture fences."

Federal assistance, including a Livestock Indemnity Program that will provide partial compensation for livestock deaths, and an Emergency Livestock Assistance Program that may help with feed losses, snow removal and other feed related losses, is still pending.

"These federal programs will not provide producers with full loss compensation," Goehring says. "In the meantime, this new Ag Pace loan program will help producers with the financial demands of asset replacement and operation recovery."

Source: ND Department of Agriculture