Legislators are expected to approve $1 million for a loan program to help livestock producers rebuild their herds, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

An estimated 91,000 heads of livestock, which includes 72,000 calves, died this winter as a result of the statewide snow and flood disasters. The lost value is estimated to be about $55 million, which is likely to increase, Goehring said.

Lawmakers included the $1 million in the Industrial Commission budget for the AgPace loan program to help farmers and ranchers get back on their feet. The bill, SB2014, is in conference committee.

The loan will be administered by the Bank of North Dakota and will offer producers up to $20,000 if they can prove financial loss because of the disasters. The loan includes an interest buy down of 5 percent for qualified farmers and ranchers to help them buy new cattle and material to build fences and corrals.

Goehring said other federal assistance programs for livestock producers who suffered losses are still pending.

For more information about the program, state officials urge farmers and ranchers to contact their local lender. See Bismarck Tribune for more information.