S.D. Gov. Requests Drought Assistance for 30 Counties

July 7, 2004

Gov. Mike Rounds has sent a letter to USDA Secretary Ann Veneman asking that 30 South Dakota counties be declared natural disaster areas.

In the letter, Gov. Rounds said “I am concerned the agricultural producers in these counties may not be able to continue their family farming and ranching operations next year if assistance is not provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.”

Thirty counties have been submitted to Veneman for consideration as an agricultural disaster designation which would allow farmers and ranchers in affected counties to be eligible for low interest loans and income deferral on the sale of livestock

The affected counties submitted Flash Situation Reports to the Office of Emergency Management which showed rangeland, pastureland and hay production losses varying from 30 to 100 percent.

“The State of South Dakota is now in its fifth consecutive year of drought,” the Governor said. “These conditions continue to bring economic hardships not only to the affected farmers and ranchers, but also to those businesses that depend on farmers and ranchers for their livelihood.”

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