USDA started accepting applications for disaster relief programs restored by the 2014 farm bill on April 15.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says, in just one week, USDA received more than 10,000 applications, with about 95% for the Livestock Forage Program, which covers grazing losses due to drought or fire, going as far back as October 1, 2011.
The massive response comes with little surprise, considering livestock farmers and ranchers have gone nearly two years without assistance.
Vilsack says USDA has processed about 60% of the applications, and already approved payments for nearly 6,000 producers. The application process will continue for 3 to 9 months, depending on the program.