Wildfires have burned major portions of Oklahoma, as well as several other areas in the High Plains, over the past week.
In an attempt to give better aid to people in those areas, a Drover’s report says Kansas Republican Representative Roger Marshall proposed an amendment that was included in the House Farm Bill, which passed out of the Ag Committee on April 18. Marshall says the wildfires burning across Kansas and Oklahoma bring back memories of the wildfires that burned large numbers of acres in 2017.
“While the USDA response to help producers recover has been good, it’s important that we take time to figure out how to improve ways to help farmers in the future,” he says. Two separate fires in northwest Oklahoma have burned more than 350,000 acres since April 12. Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado have all been dealing with smaller wildfires over the past few weeks.
The amendment is intended to streamline the application and approval processes for producers to get resources more quickly when applying to the Emergency Conservation Program to rebuild their fences. The amendment also simplifies the program administration for Farm Service Agency employees.
There aren’t any guarantees the amendment stays in the finished 2018 Farm Bill.