Rep. Crawford Discusses Drought Concerns with Cattle Producers in Ash Flat
Jonesboro — This weekend, Representative Rick Crawford (AR-01) met with local cattle producers in Ash Flat as concerns over severe drought increase.
Northern Arkansas has been experiencing a moderate level drought since July 5th. However, parts of Fulton, Sharp, and Randolph counties have now entered a severe drought. Unfortunately, the drought will have to continue for six more consecutive weeks or become worse for the type of federal relief that was available in 2012 to kick in.
“We haven’t seen a drought like this since 1980. If we have to wait on the processes, we’ll lose everything,” said one cattle producer.
Due to the drought, the cost of feeding cattle has continued to reach new heights, causing cattlemen and women to make difficult financial decisions, such as selling off their cattle before they are fully grown. Since cattle producers get paid per pound, this means less revenue for their ranch.
“There are several programs available but they vary greatly in eligibility, so I’d encourage producers to get in touch with their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office regarding next steps. Price gouging of any cattle feed should also be immediately reported to the state,” Crawford said.
On Friday, Governor Hutchinson sent a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting a disaster declaration, which kickstarts the process in getting financial assistance for those affected by the drought.
Crawford assured cattle producers that he would use his best efforts in Washington to support the Governor’s request.
“Arkansas agriculture is resilient and I know that our cattle producers will overcome these difficult challenges. I will continue to work with producers to get the support they need from USDA as they continue their vital work in support of our food supply,” the Congressman added.
Crawford represents the First District of Arkansas, which runs from Searcy County through Mississippi County as well as down the eastern part of the state. He is a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee and has served in the U.S House since 2011.
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