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Federal Aid Sought For Some Cattle Farmers

By Andy FreudenburgThe Kentucky Department of Agriculture has requested a disaster declaration from the federal government due to recent cattle deaths. Kentucky cattle have consumed more clover this year, causing primary ruminal tympany, an intestinal tract blockage known more commonly as frothy bloat.Department spokesperson Bill Clary says the extra growth of clover is due to the weather.“The major reason is because of the drought from two years ago and the lower than average rain fall from last year causes the balance of plants and pasture to change, there’s more white clover in the fields of Kentucky this year than there would be in a normal year and that has to do with the weather from a year ago and two years back," he said.Clary says damages are being estimated by the KDA and the University of Kentucky. Once damages are calculated it’s expected the USDA will offer farmers some type of federal aid.He says some producers have lost as much as 30 percent of their herds.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.