Pillen continues push for LIP exception for Nebraska cattle producers

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen has requested the USDA update payments from a disaster assistance program for producers in his state who lost cattle due to extreme heat. “We’re going to be pretty ornery until we get that answer.”

He tells Brownfield he sent a letter AND spoke with Ag Secretary Vilsack and asked for an exception under the Livestock Indemnity Program. “We expect Secretary Vilsacks’ team to make the same exact adjustment that they did in April of 2022 in North Dakota where there was an extraordinary event – a blizzard – where a lot of baby calves were lost. They adjusted that LIP program to market.”

In a statement to Brownfield on Monday, a USDA spokesperson said the Secretary has asked the Farm Service Agency to provide any flexibility in sign up periods and investigate the Department’s ability to address concerns about market values, and look at any potential streamlining opportunities.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Pillen says his team is still trying to determine how many head were lost, but estimates show that some feedlots lost 15 percent of their herd. “The system right now as it is would fund about $1,250, and these critters were worth $3,000 and 75 percent of that is $2,200.”

Congressman Mike Flood tells Brownfield he sent a letter to USDA and FSA urging them to respond in a timely manner. “I think everybody knows this is an issue.  I want everyone to know that this resource is out there.  I would add I think the folks that administer the program at USDA know what they’re doing and have been very responsive to my letter.”

Pillen says he hasn’t spoken with FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux since Ducheneaux’s agency allocates LIP payments.

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