Cattlemen ask USDA for emergency help

US - National Cattlemen's Beef Association is appealing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and President Bush for immediate help in assisting ranchers in the High Plains following a round of ferocious winter storms.
calendar icon 5 January 2007
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The latest storm, which hit the last week of December, has left parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma all but shut down. The region has been hard hit by snow, ice and power outages, said Joe Schuele, director of trade media for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association .

Schuele said today Jan. 4 that in the past few days concerns about cattle losses have begun to mount.

In a letter dated Jan. 3, NCBA President Mike John asks Bush and the USDA for a presidential disaster declaration for the High Plains region, which recent snow and ice storms have devastated.

In addition, John asks that Livestock Indemnity Program and Emergency Conservation Program funds be used to assist beef producers that have suffered livestock losses and damage to critical infrastructure.

"Back-to-back winter storms have blanketed snow and ice across major portions of the High Plains, leaving thousands of cattle stranded without food and water," John wrote. "Nearly 1,000 cattle have already been found dead and with hundreds of thousands of cattle located in this area, more losses are expected."

John noted that a similar storm struck the region in 1997, resulting in nearly 30,000 cattle lost, valued at $33 million.

Source: Capital Press
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