Hoeven Gathers Input on Ag Disaster Assistance, Urging FSA to Send Payments to Producers As Soon As Possible

Senator Worked to Secured $10 Billion in Agriculture Disaster Aid, $750 Million Specifically for Livestock Producers

DICKINSON, N.D. – At a roundtable discussion with livestock producers and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux today, Senator John Hoeven continued his efforts to ensure the FSA distributes the $10 billion in disaster assistance, including $750 million specifically for livestock producers, as soon as possible and in a way that works for farmers and ranchers. As the top Republican on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to secure the disaster aid as part of the continuing resolution passed in September and included the funding set-aside specifically for ranchers.

“Our producers have been facing historic drought conditions, and they need help right now. That’s why we prioritized this assistance funding and have repeatedly stressed to FSA the need to get it out to producers as soon as possible,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate FSA Administrator Ducheneaux for joining this important discussion, as it gives our ranchers the opportunity to provide direct input on this disaster aid and help ensure it is as effective as possible for producers.”

Specifically, the $10 billion in disaster assistance includes:

  • $9.25 billion in disaster assistance to aid producers who suffered losses due to droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other qualifying disasters. The funding will extend WHIP+ to cover losses in calendar years 2020 and 2021. 
  • $750 million for livestock producers for losses incurred during 2021 due to drought or wildfire. This disaster assistance, the first specifically for livestock producers since 2008, will build on top of existing farm bill programs for livestock producers.

In addition to this $10 billion in disaster funding, the Senator has worked to provide producers with tools and support during the drought, including: 

  • The permanent expansion of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program (ELAP) to provide producers impacted by severe drought with 60% reimbursement of their feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year.
  • Emergency procedures and new flexibilities from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for crop insurance providers to help ensure quick and fair adjustments and payments to producers.

o   Hoeven pressed for this flexibility during his recent drought tour with RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy, and it comes as part of the senator’s efforts to help producers weather severe drought conditions in North Dakota. 

  • Providing flexibility to farmers when utilizing cover crops, which provide an additional source of feed for livestock producers.

o   Following Acting Administrator Flournoy’s visit to North Dakota, RMA announced it will allow producers to hay, graze or chop cover crops on prevented plant acres at any time while still receiving their full crop insurance indemnity.