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Sen. Udall seeks drought aid

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on Monday asking the committee to add funding for livestock disaster assistance programs to the 2013 Farm Bill.

The letter, signed by Udall and nine other senators, seeks to provide aid — similar to federal crop insurance programs available to farmers — to livestock producers across the country in the face of drought conditions.

“Extending this idea to the cattle industry by providing a robust and permanent insurance program for livestock disaster assistance will give the cattle operators in our states the safety and security they need to conduct the business of feeding our country,” the senators wrote.

The programs would be funded through savings in other parts of the Farm Bill, according to Udall’s office.

Previous livestock disaster programs expired in 2011 as part of the 2008 Farm Bill, according to the letter.

Such funding would provide assistance and assurances for ranchers across Colorado, Udall spokesman Mike Saccone said Tuesday.

“It’s a state-wide issue,” Saccone said.

La Plata and Montezuma counties have been designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as drought disaster counties.

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