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The Latest Info On Help For Ranchers In Western South Dakota

SD Blizzard(AP) – A federal Agriculture Department official says there is some federal government help available to South Dakota ranchers who lost cattle to an early October blizzard, but it’s limited.

Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse says a Natural Resources Conservation Service program called the Environmental Quality Incentives Program can help ranchers with the cost of disposing of livestock carcasses, replacing destroyed fencing and rebuilding shelterbelts. The special EQIP signup runs through November 15th.

A federal disaster program that could have helped cover actual livestock losses has expired and won’t be renewed until Congress passes a new farm bill.

Scuse said during a trip to western South Dakota on Tuesday that the lack of a farm bill is frustrating because it limits the department’s ability to help.

Meanwhile, Governor Dennis Daugaard has extended an executive order that waives the standard 36-hour carcass disposal requirement for animals killed in an early October blizzard.

Daugaard is also extending a waiver of the overweight limits for truckers hauling carcasses of cattle.

Both orders were initially signed on October 11th, and were set to expire Friday. The executive orders have been extended until November 30th.

Daugaard says ranchers across the state are still dealing with devastating losses of between 15,000 and 30,000 animals and the extensions are necessary.

Also South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed an executive order to speed up delivery of propane due to extremely low inventories and outages.

Daugaard’s order declares a state of emergency and exempts delivery of propane from federal motor carrier regulations on drivers’ hours of service. It was signed Wednesday.

The governor says that the continued transportation of propane is essential for agricultural operations in South Dakota.

Daugaard says that although the hours of service have been temporarily suspended for commercial deliveries, companies may not require or allow fatigued drivers to make deliveries.

The order expires November 30th.

Above Courtesy Of The Associated Press

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