USDA offers more drought assistance

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The USDA is trying to help out livestock producers who are having trouble feeding their animals because of widespread drought conditions.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the USDA will allow for flexibility with some rules in four of its programs. The USDA will allow haying or grazing on some land that is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.

The USDA will also allow for haying and grazing on some land enrolled in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program.

Vilsack is also asking crop insurers to voluntarily forego charging interest on unpaid crop insurance premiums up until November 1st.

“Beginning today, USDA will open opportunities for haying and grazing on lands enrolled in conservation programs while providing additional financial and technical assistance to help landowners through this drought,” said Vilsack.

The USDA has designated 1,297 counties as disaster areas because of the drought conditions. Twenty-nine states are affected.