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
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.