Hoeven Meets With New FSA Administrator, Outlines Importance of Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Drought

As Chairman of Ag Approps, Senator Secured Additional Drought Assistance under ELAP & LIP, Working to Pass Strongest Farm Bill Possible

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week reviewed the importance of drought relief for farmers and ranchers in North Dakota with the new Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven made additional funding available for producers in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). Hoeven is also working to include his Capital for Farmers and Ranchers Act in the new farm bill to provide farmers with better access to capital. The bill would increase the FSA loan guarantee amount from $1.39 million to $2.5 million and double the amount of direct loans from $300,000 to $600,000 for both farm operating loans and farm ownership loans.

“Our farmers and ranchers continue to face challenges, including drought and low commodity prices,” said Hoeven. “We need a strong ag economy to ensure the food security of our nation and maintain our high quality, affordable food supply for families. The FSA’s programs, including emergency loans, ELAP and LIP, play an important part in helping our producers weather these difficult times. I appreciate Administrator Fordyce for taking the time to discuss these priorities, and I look forward to working with him, as well as my fellow committee members in the Senate Agriculture and Agriculture Appropriations Committees, to ensure FSA can effectively deliver these important services to our farmers and ranchers.”

Last week, Hoeven announced that he had secured important priorities for North Dakota in the Senate’s draft farm bill, including strengthening crop insurance, providing greater fairness in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and supporting agriculture research. The full Agriculture Committee is scheduled to markup the legislation tomorrow, and Hoeven will work to pass the bill through the Senate as soon as possible.

This comes as part of Hoeven’s work to craft the best possible farm bill for North Dakota producers. To this end, the senator hosted USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in North Dakota to hear directly from the state’s producers about their priorities for the farm bill and has also gathered input from the farmers and ranchers at roundtable meetings across the state.