U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced the United States Department of Agriculture responded to his request to extend the deadline for Montana farmers and ranchers seeking additional relief from last year’s drought and wildfires.
“Montana farmers and ranchers have faced severe conditions and need flexibility,” said Daines. “I thank Secretary Perdue for recognizing the severe conditions that Montana producers have faced and for providing these flexibilities. Additional disaster relief funding is needed to help Montana’s agriculture community rebuild and continue feeding the country.”
The Emergency Conservation Program is a USDA program that helps farmers and ranchers repair damage caused by natural disasters and implement water conservation efforts, such as drilling and replacing wells. Following Daines’ request, USDA extended the deadline by six months to June 1, 2018, to provide sufficient time to complete appropriate projects and repair efforts in light of Montana’s winter conditions.
Daines has long fought to ensure Montana farmers and ranchers have the necessary flexibilities to respond to natural disasters, including last year’s drought and wildfires:
On November 14, 2017, Daines sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, calling for additional time for Montana farmers and ranchers to complete Emergency Conservation Program projects.
On January 10, 2018, Secretary Perdue responded to Daines’ request and extended the filing deadline by six months to June 1, 2018.
On June 28, 2017, Daines sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue outlining the importance of authorizing grazing and haying on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage to provide additional relief for Montana producers in the face of record low levels of precipitation and high temperatures.
On June 29, 2017, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue granted Daines’ request to authorize emergency grazing on CRP lands.
On July 26, 2017, Daines highlighted the effects of the drought on Montana’s farmers and ranchers.
On July 27, 2017, Daines requested emergency relief for farmers and ranchers severely impacted by the Lodgepole Complex Wildfire in Eastern Montana.
On July 30, 2017, Interior Secretary Zinke granted Daines’ request and opened the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge land for emergency grazing relief.