Recent livestock losses in the Panhandle spurs renewed interest in a new Farm Bill.
Reports from extreme northwest Nebraska, especially Sioux and Dawes County, indicate some ranchers lost 80% of their herd.
Sen. Mike Johanns says a new Farm Bill would fund the Livestock Indemnity Program, which ran out of money about a year ago.
“We often think about the Farm Bill and a whole host of issues that we want to see handled through the Farm Bill. We don’t often talk about this livestock piece, because it never arises unless there’s something like this that happens where you have livestock loss,” Johanns tells Nebraska reporters during his weekly conference call.
Between 10 and 12 inches of wet snow fell on the Chadron, Crawford and Hemingford areas this past weekend. Winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour created huge drifts. Gusts hit 70 miles per hour during the height of the blizzard.
Even though some herds sought shelter and some ranchers attempted to help, many head of cattle were caught in the storm, buried in huge snow drifts.
For now, ranchers are being advised to keep careful records of their losses so they can file claims once a new Farm Bill is passed and the federal government re-opened.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]