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NEBRASKA CATTLEMEN APPLAUD NELSON'S REQUEST FOR RMA PILOT PROGRAM IN NEBRASKA

(May 31, 2007) LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska Cattlemen leaders are applauding Sen. Ben Nelson's request that USDA offer a pasture and forage insurance program in Nebraska.

Nelson has made the request in advance of a Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors meeting June 5, during which expansion of the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Pilot Insurance Program is to be considered.

Currently, the USDA program is offered in surrounding states, including South Dakota and Colorado. The program utilizes rainfall data and satellite imagery to calculate range production. Insurance plans are offered to producers to offset the risk of loss due to drought.

Nebraska Cattlemen President Jay Wolf said, “We agree with Senator Nelson that this pilot program is innovative and RMA (Risk Management Agency) should expand the program to include Nebraska.”

In seeking expansion of the program into Nebraska, Senator Nelson has told USDA officials that during the past several drought years Nebraska farmers and ranchers have experienced a heavy decline in grassland and forage production resulting in increased costs and a reduction in livestock herd numbers.

Nelson and Wolf said they believe that Nebraska producers would strongly welcome an expansion of the pilot testing program in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Cattlemen association serves as the representative for the state's beef cattle industry and represents professional cattle breeders, ranchers and feeders, as well as 46 county and local cattlemen's associations. Its headquarters are in Lincoln and a second office in Alliance serves cattlemen in western Nebraska. This and other Nebraska Cattlemen information is available at www.nebraskacattlemen.org.

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