Livestock producers eligible for drought relief

Montana agriculture producers eligible for relief from higher feed costs

Anyone who has to feed livestock knows that the price of feed in Montana is sky high.

But Montana livestock and agriculture producers are now eligible to apply for financial relief through the federal government to offset higher feed costs.

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Cattle feed on a ranch near Maudlow, Montana. Photo by David Reese

The Farm Service Agency is issuing this notice announcing the new Emergency Livestock Relief Program, which will provide payments to livestock producers who faced increased feed costs as a result of drought or wildfire in 2021.

The program, known as the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, provides $10 billion for expenses related to losses of crops (including milk, on-farm stored commodities, crops prevented from planting in 2020 and 2021, and harvested wine grapes), trees, bushes, and vines, as a consequence of droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze, including a polar vortex, smoke exposure, quality losses of crops, and excessive moisture occurring in calendar years 2020 and 2021.

From the $10 billion, $750 million will go to assist producers of livestock for losses incurred during calendar year 2021 due to qualifying droughts or wildfires. The livestock producers who suffered losses due to drought are eligible for assistance if any area within the county in which the loss occurred was rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having severe drought for eight consecutive weeks or extreme drought or higher level of drought intensity during the applicable year.

According to the US Drought Monitor, more than one-third of the country was categorically in a “D-2 Severe” to “D-3 Exceptional” drought throughout the entire calendar year 2021. Extreme drought affected areas highly concentrated with rangeland needed for livestock production, requiring livestock producers to purchase supplemental feed at higher prices to sustain production. 

For more information on the program or contact Kimberly Graham; (202) 720-6825; email: .

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