Nebraska floods continue as aid is discussed
March 21, 2019
As reports of flooding and cattle losses continued today in Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts sent President Donald Trump a request for aid, a day after Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in interviews that Congress should include aid for the Midwest flooding in the disaster package it is likely to consider next week.
In an interview with CBS, Ricketts, Republican, said, "In our initial assessment, we've got $400 million in livestock losses and $440 million in grain losses."
"We're encouraging our farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office, Farm Service Agency, to notify them that they've got these losses and to keep track of this, so they can take advantage of things like the livestock indemnity program."
Ricketts also said farmers should take advantage of federal conservation programs that could help.
On Fox Business Network Tuesday, Perdue said, "We hopefully will have a supplemental disaster bill out of Congress very soon. This may be included in that as well."
In an example of the problems, Annette Bloom, whose family has farmed in Scotia, Neb., since 1953, told WBUR, Boston's NPR station, that she lost 35 calves in the flooding, right during the peak of her calving season.
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In addition to losing dozens of calves, her farmland is destroyed. "There's just been a lot of devastation," Bloom said.
"We are having to travel three miles through pasture and cropland just to get out because our roads are gone," she says. "And the corn fields are going to be devastating to get in and plant and get that going, because usually we're planting within the next two weeks and it's not going to happen."