TOPEKA, Kan. — Last week, Gov. Laura Kelly sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack outlining the devastating impact of the extreme weather that impacted many Kansas livestock producers on December 15. She acknowledged that several USDA disaster programs would be helpful for livestock producers impacted by the many wildfires experienced in the state, but also expressed concerns about the level of benefits provided by the programs.
Gov. Kelly asked Secretary Vilsack to adjust the payment rate of the Livestock Indemnity Program to better reflect the replacement cost of cows lost in the fires, especially bred cows. The letter highlighted the gap between payment rates for replacing lost fences through the Emergency Conservation Program with the actual costs of barbed wire and steel posts. She also requested access to Conservation Reserve Program acres and payment eligibility for standing forages stockpiled for winter grazing.