DENVER (CBS4)– The U.S. Agriculture Department hopes to help Colorado cattle ranchers who are suffering from this year’s drought.

The plan opens up nearly four million acres nationwide of conservation land for animal grazing and hay.

Cattle and hog farmers are getting nervous because there isn’t enough feed.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said opening conservation land to grazing should help.

“We’re also going to provide the ability on those lands for the hay to be sold, bartered or exchanged and will continue not to charge more than 10 percent of the rental payment to be paid back to the United States, normally it’s 25 percent, so there is a very significant effort here today that’s directed to those primarily in the lifestock business in Colorado,” said Vilsack.

Some farmers are opting to sell their livestock because unlike crops, livestock cannot be insured.


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