Producers are encouraged to mitigate risk and take advantage of drought relief < Oklahoma

Monday 21 November 2022

Media contact: Gail Ellis | Editorial Communications Coordinator | 405-744-9152 | [email protected]

Welcome rains have fallen across the state in recent weeks, but much of Oklahoma is still in a drought.

The Oklahoma State University Extension has summarized the following drought relief funding channels currently available to producers and noted some of the key drought response measures in place during this challenging season.

water availability

cattle

fire, sickness and loss

  • Crop insurance covers some crop damage and varies by policy and crop.
  • Cattle lost to fire or other adverse weather conditions such as extreme cold, flooding or lightning – Livestock Indemnity Program
  • Damage to fences and structures not covered by property insurance – Emergency Conservation Program

risk management tactics

  • Identify risks of most concern to the individual operation.
  • Understand exactly what to mitigate for those risks (price risk, production risk, or both).
  • Build trusted relationships with Extension instructors, US Department of Agriculture officials and other agricultural specialists who can guide you in creating a customized plan.
  • Go through scenarios with family and business partners. Use the US Department of Agriculture calculators to identify options and potential costs.
  • Understand deadlines, documentation and reporting requirements, and identify ways to stack programs for best risk coverage.
  • Follow the plan and take action to address risks.

As a reminder, in mid-September, $3 million was allocated from Oklahoma’s drought emergency fund. Since then, Gov. Kevin Stitt has committed an additional $20 million to additional drought-related initiatives.

“The Emergency Drought Commission has allocated $20 million of the $23 million to water initiatives such as drilling wells, watering livestock and cleaning up ponds,” Amy Hagerman, OSU Extension ag and nutrition policy expert, said on the television show SUNUP by OSU Agriculture. “Applications must be submitted to local conservation districts by November 28. The money will be split between each of the 77 districts to meet needs identified in the applications, so approximately $250,000 per district.”

Hagerman said some of the $20 million could be reallocated to other counties with higher numbers of applications.

“It’s important to remember that these programs are designed to complement federal drought programs,” she said. “All federal programs are still running.”

Hagerman recommends speaking with a district extension educator about a facility’s greatest needs to determine which programs work best at the federal or state level.

For more information on agricultural risk management and drought policies, please contact Hagerman at 405-744-9811 or [email protected]

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