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 Nov.15.
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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.