Farmer Drought Dollars - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Farmer Drought Dollars

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On Friday. the United States Department of Agriculture announced it will provide millions of dollars in additional assistance to help farmers, ranchers and residents affected by severe drought in California. Many Texomans wondered if the same sort of assistance will come to our drought stricken area.

Travis McAlister, a farmer in Electra said he is unaware of any assistance that has been available to Texas. However, President Barack Obama has ordered the USDA to make implementation of livestock disaster assistance a top priority and to have the programs available for sign up by April 15, 2014.
 
This long awaited livestock disaster assistance is part of the 2014 Farm Bill. This will now allow farmers, ranchers, and residents across the country to sign up for their losses not only in 2014, but also losses in 2012 and 2013. The McAlisters worry that they won't be able to see that money come to their farm or even their state.

"I'm not aware of any drought assistance that has been available to Texas at this point," said Travis McAlister."I know the drought is extreme here, and I don't say that our drought is any worse than they are having. But it's certainly bad here."
 
The McAlisters have been in and around Electra farming for generations. Travis McAlister's son Kevin worries that the farm will continue to suffer unless some big help comes soon.
 
"What do you do? You can't pack your farm up and leave. You have to pull together and everybody has to do something to conserve," said Kevin.

In order to make sure their livestock on the farm is adequately hydrated, the McAlisters are having to haul water from outside sources. They say nearly 60% of their ponds are drying up quick.

The USDA is asking producers like the McAlisters to record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:

 Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses:

-Dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts

-Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures

-Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed

-Crop records including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records

-Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters

-Evidence of damaged farm land

Jack Carney, Newschannel 6

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