Senator John Thune says Congress needs to pass a new farm bill to provide financial help to western South Dakota ranchers who lost livestock during last weekend's early fall blizzard.
A previous livestock disaster program has expired. Thune says both the Senate and House versions of the new farm bill include a livestock disaster program that would cover between 65 percent and 75 percent of ranchers' losses.
Thune says both chambers of Congress can now pass a final version of the farm bill so ranchers can be helped.
Fellow Republican Rep. Kristi Noem says she believes the House and Senate will soon start work to agree on a farm bill.
Democratic Senator Tim Johnson also has urged passage of the farm bill.