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Ranchers get relief for the extra mile

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 5:44 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As the state enters a second straight year of drought, the agricultural hub of western South Dakota feels the effects, putting feedlots at record capacity.

According to Justin Tupper, Saint Onge Livestock Owner most of the cattle bought in St. Onge end up in Nebraska feedlots. “Well, I think anytime you are dealing with the exceptional drought we have had and the real shortage of feed that there has been in this part of the country. We need a little help,” said Tupper.

The USDA is ready to help relieve ranchers of the increased costs. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), helps livestock producers who need to haul hay or move cattle. The relief is only available in areas where the drought is at a level D2 or higher for at least eight weeks.

Tupper says, “It just equals it out and makes it fair for everybody that was working in the tough situation with the drought.”

Ranchers continue to hope for moisture, meanwhile, the USDA is trying to shut the gate on high transportation costs.

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