California livestock producers affected by the 2014 drought will get $100 million in assistance through USDA livestock disaster-assistance programs contained in the recently signed 2014 farm bill.

Another $50 million will be available to state producers to cover losses occurred in the two previous drought years. Signup for programs will begin by April 15.

“This assistance, coupled with other aid being made … should provide some relief during this difficult time,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Another $5 million from $15 million in targeted conservation assistance, to be made available for the most extreme and exceptional drought areas, will go to California. USDA has declared 54 counties in that state primary natural disaster areas due to the drought. The $10 million will go to drought-impacted areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico.

The funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP is a USDA program geared toward helping farmers and ranchers implement practices that conserve scarce water resources, reduce wind erosion on drought-impacted fields and improve livestock access to water.

For more on USDA’s response to drought in the West, click here.

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