Hay Urgently Needed In Oklahoma; 5 Resources For Disaster Assistance

More than anything Oklahoma ranchers need hay, says Dave Deken, Oklahoma State University. ( Oklahoma State University )

Large wildfires in western Oklahoma continue to burn more than 400,000 acres and growing.

“Hay is the number one need right now,” said Dana Bay, Woodward County OSU Extension Educator. “Ranchers that were able to save their cattle but lost their grass and hay of their own are in desperate need of hay to sustain those animals.”

If you would like to donate hay, please contact Extension coordinators at one of the three phone numbers:

(405) 590-0106

(405) 496-9329

(405) 397-7912

A second relief fund has been established by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation (OCF) with. 100% of donations will be distributed to ranchers who have been affected by the fires. Funds will be dispersed 90 days after the fire is out. Applications to apply for fire relief funds can be found at www.okcattlemen.org.

"People are quick to want to help those in unfortunate situations, and that is truly humbling. The OCF is happy to provide a place for funds to be held. We will coordinate with the Extension Offices in the affected areas to organize relief efforts and to identify ranchers that are in need," said Tiffani Pruitt Coordinator of the OCF, a charitable arm of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.

You may donate to this relief effort by mail or online. Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, with "Fire Relief" in the memo line and send to P.O. Box 82395., Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit www.okcattlemen.org.

Hay isn’t the only resource producers need in disaster conditions.

While some faced wildfires, many other ranchers faced blizzard conditions this past weekend.

USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers several programs to assist livestock producers during emergency and natural disasters. Here are some programs that can help. Contact your local FSA office for more information.

  • Livestock Forage Program (LFP): LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or that is planted specifically for grazing. Learn more about LFP.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP): LIP provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather or by attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government. Learn more about LIP.
  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP):ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by LFP and LIP. Learn more about ELAP.

Loans for losses to crops, trees, livestock, farm land and farm property