06-25-12 Colorado Farm Bureau Requests Disaster Declaration…
Posted by Brian Allmer on June 25, 2012
June 25, 2012, Centennial, Colorado – Colorado Farm Bureau, the state’s largest group of farmers and ranchers has asked Governor Hickenlooper to request a federal emergency disaster declaration due to worsening drought conditions. The federal disaster declaration would give Colorado farmers and ranchers additional opportunities to withstand the drought reaching all corners of the state.
Colorado Farm Bureau sent a letter on Friday requesting Governor Hickenlooper contact USDA Secretary Vilsack and urge him to make Colorado farmers and ranchers eligible for federal disaster assistance.
“Colorado’s farmers are facing massive crop failure and many ranchers have already been forced to feed hay to their cattle, sheep and horses,” said Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau. “Colorado is facing a perfect storm of very poor snowpack, low spring moisture and record high temperatures. Couple this with a discouraging forecast for the rest of the growing season and it’s easy to see that an immediate disaster declaration is needed.”
The drought conditions in Colorado are severe and there appears to be no relief on the horizon. According to the US Drought Monitor, the entire state is currently in a moderate drought, with large portions in a severe drought category or worse.
The declaration would allow farmers and ranchers access to assistance in the form of low-interest loans, access to operating capital and could immediately open CRP lands to haying and grazing. Following the Colorado Farm Bureaus request, Senators Udall and Bennet as well as Representatives Gardner and Tipton also requested assistance and urged Secretary Vilsack to take action and declare a disaster.
Colorado Farm Bureau has already begun to help farmers and ranchers in need by opening the CFB Hay Exchange. The exchange is an attempt to link people who have hay or pasture with the farmers and ranchers who need it the most.
Colorado Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the agriculture industry, rural communities, and the Colorado economy, through member involvement in education, policy activities, programs and services.