USDA enacts emergency measures to help farmers and ranchers with drought conditions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that it is suspending the 30-day livestock ownership requirement due to sever drought conditions in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Livestock Risk Protection Basic Provisions contain language requiring livestock to be owned by the producer within the last 30 days of the insurance period or the policy is terminated with premium owed, but no indemnities payable.

According to USDA, Approved Insurance Providers at their sole discretion, may waive the 30-day ownership requirement for the certain coverage subject to verification of proof of ownership. That proof can include sales receipts, kill sheets or other documentation that verifies ownership during the insurance period showing the date the livestock were sold or slaughtered, according to USDA. The waiver doesn’t affect actuarial performance of the policy and permits producers to market their livestock as necessary while the policy continues in force, according to a USDA bulletin.

Drought conditions in Montana and the Dakotas are making it difficult for producers to find adequate supplies of feed or forage, causing them to market livestock sooner than anticipated, according to USDA.

The USDA Farm Service Agency also announced today that Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency haying on Conservation Reserve Program land beginning July 16 through Aug. 30 for counties in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota designated as D2 or greater on the U.S. Drought Monitor, according to the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

Similar to the emergency grazing announced last month, this authorization includes any county with any part of its border located within 150 miles of a county eligible for emergency haying of CRP based on the U.S. drought monitor.

Increased demand for hay has further depleted already low levels of hay stock.  As of May 1, 2017, Montana and North Dakota reported the lowest hay stock since 2013 and since 2014 in South Dakota.


These and a number of other disaster assistance programs are available to farmers and ranchers. For more information on disaster assistance programs and loans visit contact your local FSA Office. To find your local FSA county office, visit