Rep. Kristi Noem says the livestock disaster assistance bill passed by the U.S. House is a good first step toward helping South Dakota farmers and ranchers deal with problems caused by the drought.
But the Republican congresswoman says she will continue trying to persuade House leaders to pass a five-year farm bill because that would be the best way to help livestock producers.
Noem says she has been working for the past few months to reauthorize the livestock disaster programs that expired last year.
Noem's opponent in the November election, Democrat Matt Varilek, says Noem and the Republican-controlled House have created uncertainty for farmers and ranchers by failing to pass a new farm bill.
Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson says the House should pass the farm bill approved by the Senate.