Hoeven Outlines $10 Billion Agriculture Disaster Assistance at Western Caucus Summit

As Ranking Member of Senate Ag Approps, Hoeven Secured Disaster Aid, Including $750 Million Specifically for Ranchers

BISMARCK, N.D. – At the Western Caucus’ Agriculture Summit today, Senator John Hoeven outlined the$10 billion in disaster assistance, including $750 million specifically for livestock producers, recently approved by Congress. As the top Republican on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to secure disaster aid and included the funding set-aside specifically for ranchers. The senator, also a member of the Western Caucus and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, further discussed efforts to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the disaster assistance as quickly as possible and in the most effective way for producers.

“This year’s drought has posed severe challenges for our farmers and ranchers, which is why we’ve been working to provide them with this much-needed assistance,” said Hoeven. “We worked to secure $10 billion, with $750 specifically for our livestock producers, to help get our farmers and ranchers through this tough stretch. Now, we’re working to ensure that USDA provides this assistance as quickly as possible and in the most producer-friendly way, as our farmers and ranchers need this assistance now.”

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 costsabove 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.