Nevada among western states requesting support for livestock industries

Winter weather conditions impacting industry in western states


Ciara Ressel
Public Information Officer
SPARKS, Nev. - February 16, 2023

As western states are experiencing significant winter weather conditions following extended drought, livestock producers are facing high levels of supplemental feed needed for longer periods to sustain herds. Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming are among states calling upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) to consider relief programs.


“We have seen a significant amount of persistent snow and colder temperatures leaving many of Nevada’s livestock producers with limited options to transport animals or feed,” said Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director J.J. Goicoechea.


Nevada has experienced multiple years of sustained drought with FSA offering programs for disaster assistance to those impacted. Past drought conditions led to a lack of hay and other supplemental feed going into winter. Limited feed resources at increased costs and high fuel prices are compounding the problem and creating significant increases in operation expenses.


As the winter season has impacted western states with severe storms, producers are facing limited grazing options, flooding, snow and ice. Many herds have been trucked out of traditional winter grazing areas or liquidated completely. Access due to drifting snow is hampering efforts to reach and remove remaining livestock in some areas.


“Our livestock producers and animals are struggling right now,” said NDA Director Goicoechea. “I hope that FSA will consider our letter and continue to be flexible and supportive with programs that support the industry.”


Read the full letter here.

Update - May 3, 2023

The USDA FSA has provided a response to the letter signed by Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. View the full letter in the attachments.

About the Nevada Department of Agriculture

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 225 dedicated employees providing services in its five divisions, Administrative Services, Animal Industry, Measurement Standards, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Health and Compliance. The department’s $288 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.