Hoeven Continues Calls for Improvements to Disaster Assistance for Producers

Senator Worked to Secure ERP & ELRP, Previously Raised Issues Directly with USDA Under Secretary & FSA Administrator

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, this week continued his calls to improve disaster assistance for producers. Hoeven joined Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to address issues with the implementation of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), the row crop disaster assistance that Hoeven secured and has been working to get out to producers. 

The letter builds on Hoeven’s efforts to help farmers and ranchers recover from losses due to natural disasters in recent years, including last year’s historic drought. To this end, the senator:

  • In September, secured $10 billion in agriculture disaster aid, including $750 million for livestock producers.
  • Repeatedly pressed Secretary Vilsack to get the assistance to producers as soon as possible.
  • After hearing concerns from producers, raised these issues directly with USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux to ensure ERP works for farmers and ranchers and effectively helps them offset their losses.
    • This includes a meeting Hoeven held last month with Bonnie, Ducheneaux and North Dakota producers.

“USDA’s work in implementing the ERP to help farmers and ranchers who suffered disaster-related losses in 2020 and 2021 has been meaningful to producers around the country,” the senators wrote. “We appreciate your efforts to streamline the process by allowing the Farm Service Agency to use data already on record with the Risk Management Agency, which has been helpful in expediting the process. We write to bring to your attention issues that have come up with ERP implementation and to request that USDA address these issues expeditiously.”

In addition to Hoeven, Thune and Klobuchar, the letter was signed by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Click here for the text of the letter.