What expanding ELAP means for ND ranchers

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:19 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Ninety-nine percent of North Dakota is still experiencing some form of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and it has been this way for the past three months. This has put stress on ranchers and their cattle all year. But soon, many will be getting some financial help.

Ranchers can apply for a new part of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program to help with feed costs. The program will reimburse up to 60% of transportation costs for the entire year, and was originally only for transporting water.

“We clearly thought there was room in the statute to expand it, but then that takes USDA, Department of Ag, actually going in and changing the regulation. And that’s no small feat. Normally that takes a long time. A long time,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

This is a permanent addition to the program. Applications are still being worked on, but they hope payments will be available by the end of the year.

“Big deals causing stress and feed development shortages across for producers. And the trouble is not only that is that feed and hay in high demand, but it’s hard to come by,” said Julie Ellingson, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Executive V.P.

Ellingson added that this change will likely impact every rancher in North Dakota.

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