Farm Bill helps ranchers, restores county payments

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Associated Press

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 12:02 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Farm Bill moving through Congress includes disaster assistance for ranchers who lost cattle and grazing to the 2012 wildfires, and millions of dollars in federal payments for counties with federal lands.

The bill passed the House on Wednesday and goes to the Senate.

About 225 cattle died in Oregon in the 2012 wildfires, and hundreds of thousands of acres of rangeland burned. No disaster assistance was available because the last Farm Bill had expired and Congress could not agree on a new one. The bill would restore programs that offer grants for cattle and grazing lost to disaster.

The bill extends for one year the program Payments in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT, which makes up for property taxes the government doesn't pay. Oregon received $13 million last year.

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