Assistance Programs for Nebraska Producers Recovering from Wildfires, Drought
For producers affected by the recent wildfires in western Nebraska, and drought impacts across the state, there are several resources available that offer assistance, from hay and forage for livestock to help with planting crops.
Hay and Forage Hotline
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Hay and Forage Hotline is a free service that connects buyers with sellers of hay, pasture and other types of forage.
Sellers of available hay and forage can list their hay on the "Sellers List," which is updated regularly. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture distributes "Sellers List" on its website or by mail to buyers.
Once buyers obtain this information, they will be responsible for contacting the sellers directly to negotiate any transactions.
NDA encourages sellers to call the hotline number if they no longer have hay or forage available or if they would like to update their posting, to help ensure accurate, up-to-date information for buyers in need. Postings older than one year are removed automatically. Once a posting has been removed for this reason, sellers can call the hotline and re-enter their posting with any updated information.
Contact the NDA at 402-471-4876 if you have any questions.
Crop Residue Exchange
Hosted by Nebraska Extension, the Crop Residue Exchange helps connect crop producers and cattle producers seeking to enter mutually beneficial grazing arrangements. Producers can submit listings for available crop residue, and search the database according to their preference of crop residue or forage.
On the Exchange site, Extension also offers materials to assist producers in developing lease agreements, as well as research on the impact of cattle grazing corn residue.
The Internet Hay Exchange
The Internet Hay Exchange is an online resource that connects producers across the nation who seek to buy or sell hay. Buyers can view listings for hay by area code, type, quantity available, bale type and delivery options. Listings are also dated by submission or last update to help with accuracy.
Farm Rescue is a Midwestern organization that has assisted farm and ranch families during crises such as injury, illness or natural disaster since 2006. The organization provides the equipment and volunteer workforce necessary to offer free planting, haying, harvesting and livestock feeding assistance to those in need.
Producers seeking assistance from Farm Rescue can fill out an online application, or download the appropriate application and send in by mail. Necessary documentation to approve an application may include a producer farm data report, FSA maps with fields highlighted, and letter from a physician if applying due to illness or injury. To learn more about applying for help with Farm Rescue, visit the website or contact the organization at 701-252-2017.
Fire Response Resources
In addition to the Hay and Forage Hotline, the NDA has numerous resources for Nebraskans affected by wildfires on its Fire Response Resources site.
- The Nebraska Rural Response Hotline assists farmers and ranchers feeling overwhelmed, stressed, experiencing depression or other mental health issues. Call 800-464-0258 to speak to an experienced staffer who can discuss issues and needs, provide helpful information, and refer callers to attorneys, financial counselors, clergy, mediation and other producers.
- Numerous housing, supplies and financial assistance resources are available to Nebraskans in the Statewide Resources section.
Nebraska Drought Resources
Nebraska Extension offers a wide variety of information for drought concerns on the Nebraska Drought Resources site. This drought hub features articles on management plans for crops, livestock and irrigation, finances, and includes links to numerous assistance programs and drought management materials.