Farmers Hope For Rain And Govt. Help

Governor Mike Johanns saw first hand the devastation caused by the 2002 drought. The Governor toured several Nebraska cities including Grand Island. Johanns says the drought is a very grave situation that is hurting an already fragile state economy. He saw parched farm fields and a North and South Platte River diminished by a lack of rainfall.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow haying and grazing on conservation reserve program acres. Nebraska U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel says livestock producers have limited grazing lands and many counties are also battling a grasshopper infestation. Hagel says the U.S.D.A's decision will prevent farmers from liquidating their herd. Farmers must first apply at their county extension service.

Nebraska U.S. Congressman Tom Osborne does not have good news for farmers devastated by drought. Osborne says emergency drought assistance will be hard to come by. Osborne says farm-state senators are having a tough time creating congress to pass emergency legislation. He says farmers can supplement their income through new conservation programs passed under a new 500 million dollar farm bill.