(AP) - Agriculture officials say the October blizzard that killed thousands of cattle in northwest Nebraska and southwest South Dakota will have a lasting impact in the region.

Dawes County extension educator Scott Cotton tells the Lincoln Journal Star the blizzard had a bigger impact because it followed a summer of drought and last year's wildfires.

About 3,000 animals in Nebraska and 15,500 in South Dakota are estimated to have died because of the blizzard.

Cotton says ranchers must wait for Congress to approve a new farm bill before they can receive any significant aid.

Cotton says about 80 ranching families suffered major losses in the blizzard, and about 200 families were affected in some way. He says that represents a significant portion of the ranchers in Sioux and Dawes counties.