Hoeven Outlines Key Provisions for North Dakota Producers in Senate's FY 2021 Agriculture Appropriations Legislation

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today outlined key provisions for North Dakota that he included in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, including:

  • $5 million for the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant Program, which supports innovation clusters in rural regions. Hoeven also included language to prioritize projects like Grand Farm.
  • Increased funding for farm direct, guaranteed and emergency loans to meet producers’ expected demand for the program, which provide farmers and ranchers with capital.  
  • Strong support for agricultural research, conducted by the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the bill today, as Congress works to pass FY2021 funding legislation. 

“As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations, we’ve worked to put together a strong agriculture funding bill that provides our farmers and ranchers with the support they need during these challenging times,” said Hoeven. “We also worked to include resources to bolster innovation in rural areas like North Dakota’s Grand Farm and to invest in agriculture research like the good work done at our research institutions. We hope Congress approves this important agriculture funding soon.”

Additional highlights of the bill include: 

Support for Farmers and Ranchers

  • Maintains support for crop insurance and other farm bill programs.
  • Increases funding for farm direct, guaranteed and emergency loans to meet the expected demands.
  • $4 million for the Hoeven Water Bank initiative, which provides compensation for farmers and landowners for flooded land through 10-year, voluntary conservation agreements.
  • $5 million for the Wetland Mitigation Banking program, providing an important resource for farmers to remain conservation compliant.
  • Prohibits the closure of Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and provides resources for IT improvements and personnel across county offices.
  • $250,000 for blackbird depredation in the Northern Great Plains through APHIS. 
  • Provides strong funding for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management including:
    • $6 million for APHIS CWD funding to State Wildlife and State Departments of Agriculture (an increase of $1 million).
    • $2 million for APHIS to expand and collaborate on new CWD research activities, including transmission pathways and the prevention of future conflicts between humans and cervid populations.       
    • $4 million for APHIS’ Cervid Health Activities.
    • $10 million for the Farm and Ranch Assistance Network to provide producers access to mental health support and resources.
    • $3 million for Agriculture Innovation Centers that provide technical and business development assistance to agricultural producers seeking to engage in making or producing Value-Added agricultural products.
    • Includes Risk Management Agency (RMA) report language regarding cover crop haying and grazing, and corn test weight.

Agriculture Research – Provides strong support for agricultural research conducted by the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

  • Maintains formula research funding for land-grant universities.
  • Increases ARS funding, including:
    • $1.5 million increase for Sugarbeet Research.
    • $1 million for a new Barley Pest Initiative.
    • $1 million increase for UAS in Precision Agriculture Applications research.
    • $1 million increase for National Pulse Crop Research Programs.
    • $1 million increase for the Pulse Crop Health Initiative.
    • Maintain funding for Chronic Wasting Disease research.
    • Maintain funding for the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.    

Supporting Rural America

  • Provides $400 million for the ReConnect Broadband Pilot.
  • Provides $5 million for RISE grants to fund job accelerators in rural areas.
  • Maintains funding for the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.
  • Maintains funding for Rural Electric Guaranteed Loans, Rural Cooperative Development Grants and Rural Business Development Grants.