Dakota Senators Push for Drought Aid

Sen. John Thune says direct cash payments should be made to farmers and ranchers who have suffered lost income on livestock and crops.

Congressmen are mounting an effort to pass drought disaster aid.

South Dakota Sens. Tim Johnson, D, and John Thune, R, toured central South Dakota last week.

"We're at ground-zero here in a lot of ways, but we've got a drought situation from the Canadian border all the way down to the Mexican border," Johnson said at a meeting in Ft. Pierre, S.D. "We've got problems in some areas that you'd have to go back to 1936 to find that kind of problems."

Thune says direct cash payments should be made to farmers and ranchers who have suffered lost income on livestock and crops.

"When we had the hurricane hit the Gulf, the government responded, and we've got to have a response for our farmers and ranchers out here," he adds.

A grassroots effort is needed to convince the House to provide agriculture assistance, Thune states.

Johnson added that pressure also should be put on USDA and the White House.

In North Dakota, Sen. Kent Conrad, D, is organizing a drought aid rally in Bismarck Aug. 18.

TAGS: USDA
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