USDA Assists Draught-stricken Producers in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota


The USDA recently announced several plans to assist drought-stricken producers in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. First, they authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in these 3 states.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “Due to reduced availability of forage, ranchers in the hardest hit locations have already been culling their herds.” He continued, saying, “Without alternative forage options like grazing CRP lands, livestock producers are faced with the economically devastating potential of herd liquidation.”

Emergency grazing will be allowed on the environmentally sensitive land in the CRP program through September 30th unless conditions improve. The CRP participants can graze their own livestock or allow others to use the CRP acreage, yet they will not have reductions in their rental payments from the NRCS program. To take advantage of the emergency grazing provisions, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. 

The USDA also announced suspension of Livestock Risk Protection Basic Provisions 30 Day Ownership Requirement due to the severe drought in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Producers in these three states “are struggling to find adequate supplies of feed or forage, causing them to market their livestock sooner than anticipated…. The Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) Basic Provisions contain language that requires livestock to be owned by the producer within the last 30 days of the insurance period or the policy is terminated with premium owed, but no indemnities payable.”

The report says:

“that in keeping with USDA measures to assist producers in managing drought conditions, Approved Insurance Providers, at their sole discretion, may waive the 30-day ownership requirement for LRP Specific Coverage Endorsements (SCE) currently in effect as of July 11, 2017, subject to verification of proof of ownership. Proof of ownership can include sales receipts, kill sheets, or other documentation that verifies ownership during the insurance period showing the date the livestock were sold or slaughtered. The waiver does not affect actuarial performance of the LRP policy and permits producers to market their livestock as necessary while the policy continues in force. The 30-day ownership requirement waiver is applicable in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.”

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