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New bill to protect farmers in drought

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Farmers may soon have new financial protection during drought.

Senate Bill 996 would create an Emergency Drought Protection Special Fund.

The bill’s author, Sen. Ron Justice, R – Chickasha, said our state’s current drought situation is an example of why the fund is needed.

He said, “Many farmers and ranchers have lost crops and been forced to sell livestock because there simply isn’t enough water to maintain them.”

According to the bill, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission would maintain the fund.

Sen. Justice said the money could only be used when the governor declared a drought emergency.

Pond construction, water conservation and rural fire suppression are just some of the things the funds could support.

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.