Bill introduced to help Texas cattle ranchers recover from wildfires

Source: Farm Progress. The original article is posted here.

Bill introduced to help Texas cattle ranchers recover from wildfires

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas-13) have introduced the Senate and House versions of the Livestock Indemnity Program Enhancement Act to help Texas livestock producers recover from the devastating wildfires that occurred in the Texas Panhandle earlier this year. This bill would require the USDA to establish an additional payment rate through the Livestock Indemnity Program for excessive unborn livestock death losses due to gestating livestock losses. The recent wildfires in the Texas Panhandle caused over 7,000 cattle losses, not including unborn calves, destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of ranchers and livestock producers in Texas.

“Texas ranchers are the backbone of the Texas agriculture industry. After wildfires engulfed the Panhandle earlier this year, at least 7,000 cattle perished. These fires devastated Texas ranchers, who are now struggling to rebuild," Sen. Cruz said. "I am proud to introduce legislation to strengthen the Livestock Indemnity Program. This will give Texas cattle producers the relief they need to build back their herds and restore this pillar of Texas agriculture.”

“While the Livestock Indemnity Program will assist affected livestock producers with cattle losses due to the wildfires, their recovery has been set back several years due to the limitations on the program’s ability to compensate for unborn livestock losses from the loss of pregnant livestock," Rep. Jackson said. "By creating a payment rate for unborn livestock losses, we can better assist our producers, helping them recover quicker and mitigating the long-term effects of these wildfires. I am proud to lead this effort to strengthen the farm safety net for our cattlemen. Thank you, Senator Cruz, for working with me on this issue to ensure the cattle industry in Texas thrives for generations to come.”

“As Texas farmers and ranchers continue working to recover from devastating wildfires, it is critical to provide as much assistance and flexibility as possible to help them get back on their feet," said Russell Boening, president of Texas Farm Bureau. "We thank Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Ronny Jackson for introducing the ‘Livestock Indemnity Program Enhancement Act’ to compensate ranchers who lost unborn calves due the wildfires. Texas Farm Bureau appreciates leaders like Sen. Cruz and Congressman Jackson who recognize challenges and promptly act on solutions to help our hardworking cattlemen and women during times of need.”

“Due to recent devastating wildfires, many cattle producers have suffered livestock losses, including the loss of unborn calves," said Allison Rivera, executive director of government affairs at NCBA said. "Current federal law fails to compensate producers for unborn calves, but this legislation would change that thanks to Sen. Cruz and Rep. Ronny Jackson’s bill to provide an additional payment rate for unborn calves as part of the Livestock Indemnity Program. America’s cattlemen and women are thankful for Sen. Cruz and Rep. Jackson’s efforts to support the cattle industry.”

“The Livestock Indemnity Program is a helpful resource for ranchers recovering from natural disasters, but its effectiveness is limited by a gap in the program. The LIP fails to compensate ranchers for the loss of their calf crop," said Carl Ray Polk, Jr., Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association president. "In the Texas Panhandle, the devastating effects of this gap are particularly glaring in the wake of the recent wildfires. Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association thanks Senator Cruz and Congressman Jackson for addressing this gap in the LIP Enhancement Act. This legislation will help the LIP better reflect the true losses faced by ranchers and shorten the time needed to recover from devastating events like wildfires.”

The full bill text can be found here . This legislation is supported by American Farm Bureau Federation, NCBA, TFB and TSCRA.

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Informa Markets, a trading division of Informa PLC.