According to Dick Deshamps, acting State Director for the Montana Farm Service Agency, 4,400 head of livestock have been displaced so far as the Ash Creek Fire continues to burn in southeast Montana. He adds that there is also one report of 70 head that have perished. These are the most official numbers available at this point but, since they are dependant upon reports from producers, could grow significantly once things get more settled down.
With the need for forage extreme, Dick says that they have now opened up CRP for emergency grazing in both Powder River County and Rosebud County. For more details, please read “Emergency CRP Use Approved in Two MT Counties.”
In the meantime, whether or not the cattle lost will be protected under a livestock loss program is up in the air. The livestock assistance programs that were involved in the 2008 Farm Bill sunsetted in 2011.
Dick encourages anyone with livestock displaced or gone to contact your local FSA office. As of Thursday, they hadn’t gotten reports of any displacement or loss from the Dahl Fire.
© Northern Ag Network 2012