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WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation offered by U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) that will reauthorize the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). NIDIS provides vital drought information to farmers, ranchers and other industries affected by weather conditions.

“During a time when producers are still grappling with the devastating effects of drought, the passage of this legislation provides them with much-needed certainty,” Sen. Moran said. “The reauthorization of this program will aid farmers and ranchers, and enable agricultural operations to continue across our state.”

Government agencies have worked to develop a long-term plan for drought prevention, research and education since the NIDIS Act was signed into law in 2006. The legislation extends the program for five years and supports an interactive “early warning system” of timely and accurate drought information, as well as an integrated weather monitoring and forecasting system. The NIDIS Reauthorization Act of 2013 is the companion bill to the Drought Information Act, which was introduced in February 2013.

The bill now heads to the president for his signature. The legislation was sponsored by U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).