Hoeven: Congress Approves $1.5 Billion in Ag Disaster Funding as Part of Agriculture Appropriations Bill
As Chair of Ag Approps, Senator Secured Additional Disaster Funding and Provisions to Provide Sugar Producers with Disaster Relief, Cover Quality Losses
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today announced that Congress has approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill, including the additional $1.5 billion in disaster assistance he secured to help agriculture producers impacted by severe weather. Hoeven was also able to secure provisions requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to make disaster payments for eligible sugar growers and expanded program eligibility to cover quality losses for qualifying crops.
“Our producers are facing real challenges right now, which is why this additional $1.5 billion in disaster assistance funding is vital,” said Hoeven. “Our farmers and ranchers need relief given the unprecedented weather they’ve endured this year. Not only that, but we were also able to secure provisions making sure that our sugar producers are eligible for disaster assistance, as well as to cover quality losses for other crops.”
Specifically, Hoeven secured the following disaster provisions in the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill:
- $1.5 billion in disaster assistance, which is being reprogrammed from unspent Fiscal Year 2017 disaster funding. This funding is in addition to the $3 billion in disaster funding approved earlier this year.
- Requiring the secretary to make disaster payments to eligible sugar cooperatives.
- Expands loss coverage by authorizing USDA to cover quality losses, in addition to production losses.
- Clarifies eligible disaster events by including losses related to excess moisture and D3 drought.
AGRICULTURE FUNDING PRIORITIES
Hoeven also worked to ensure the bill funds important risk management tools and agriculture programs, including:
- Crop insurance.
- Implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Fully funds direct, guaranteed and emergency loans.
- Hoeven’s Water Bank Initiative.
- Funding for the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grant Program (RISE) and the Agriculture Innovation Center Program (AIC) which will support the development of rural broadband and precision agriculture, including at Grand Farm.
- Agriculture research conducted under the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), including research to benefit wheat, barley, pulse crops, sugar beets, alfalfa, potatoes, small grains, livestock and the development of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) applications in precision agriculture.
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