Disaster in South Dakota Further Highlights Need for Farm Bill

According to the Executive Director of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association - five-percent of the herd in the western part of the state may have been lost in a record-breaking storm that dumped four-feet of snow on the area. If that estimate holds - that would mean 75-thousand dead cattle. But Jodie Anderson says folk are still assessing the damage. She adds that the timing of the storm was terrible - as cattle didn't have their winter coats and hadn't been brought to winter pastures where more protection would have been available. In the midst of government uncertainty - including the lack of a farm bill - Anderson says cattlemen are worried they may not have any government protection to help them recover from this disaster. To stress how the lack of a comprehensive farm bill leaves livestock producers without a federal safety net - South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem spoke on the House floor Tuesday about the cattle losses in her state and the need for a new farm bill that would cover livestock disasters. She said it's time to finish the farm bill - time to go to conference and have negotiations on the most reform-minded bill that's been put together for decades. Noem said getting the farm bill done could give producers in western South Dakota more certainty in these very difficult times.

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