Hoeven Holds Meeting with Sugar Producers, USDA to Ensure Effective, Timely Implementation of New Disaster Assistance
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, this week arranged a meeting between sugar cooperatives, sugar beet growers and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Bill Northey to ensure that the additional $1.5 billion in disaster assistance and provisions for sugar producers are implemented in a timely manner that works for sugar growers and cooperatives.
“Sugar beet growers in the Red River Valley faced unprecedented challenges and historic losses,” said Hoeven. “That’s why as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, I worked to secure an additional $1.5 billion in disaster assistance and important language to cover quality losses, which is important for all producers, and to require USDA to make disaster payments to eligible sugar growers. Now, we’re working to ensure that USDA implements these new provisions in a timely manner and in a way that works for producers.”
The meeting comes as a result of Hoeven’s commitment during his December 27 agriculture roundtable to arrange a meeting between industry and USDA officials to ensure the assistance works for producers.
Hoeven secured additional disaster assistance measures as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Agriculture Appropriations legislation that was passed and signed into law in December. The funding legislation:
- Provides $1.5 billion in disaster assistance, which is being reprogrammed from unspent FY2017 disaster funding. This funding is in addition to the $3 billion in disaster assistance approved by Congress in May.
- Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to make disaster payments to eligible sugar cooperatives.
- Expands program eligibility to cover quality losses, in addition to production losses.
- Clarifies eligible disaster events by including losses related to excess moisture and D3 drought.
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