Pressure mounts in wake of storms to draft new farm bill - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Pressure mounts in wake of storms to draft new farm bill

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The huge snowfall in South Dakota over the weekend is putting more pressure on Congress to come together on a farm bill.  Thousands of cattle have already been lost due to the storm.

There are emergency elements of the Farm Bill not in effect that could help South Dakota ranchers suffering from livestock loss.

Both the Senate and House versions of the new Farm Bill include a livestock disaster program that would cover between 65% and 75% of ranchers' losses.

"The only mechanism we have to provide real meaningful disaster assistance to our ranchers in Western South Dakota is the disaster title in the farm bill," Republican Senator John Thune said.

Right now the bill is waiting to go to conference.

Thune says he's trying to restore emergency personnel by having them deemed essential which would allow them to help the ranchers sooner.

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