A state program in South Dakota that subsidizes livestock loans for ranchers with limited equity is offering a lowered interest rate to producers hit hard by an early October blizzard.
Qualifying ranchers in 25 counties declared a federal disaster because of the storm that killed more than 40,000 cattle, sheep and horses are eligible for an interest rate of 2.75 percent. That's down from the current rate of 4 percent offered through the state Agriculture Department's Livestock Loan Participation Program.
The storm that hit Oct. 4-5 impacted more than 600 ranchers, some of whom lost more than half of their herds. State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says the blizzard devastated the region.
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