Hoeven, Peterson Working to Secure Assistance for Sugar Growers Impacted by Disasters

Leaders Make the Case to USDA for Providing Disaster Funding to Sugar Growers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, and Representative Collin Peterson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, joined Tom Astrup, CEO of American Crystal Sugar Company in a call to urge U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Bill Northey to provide assistance for sugar growers who were unable to harvest their crop due to severe weather. Today’s call follows Under Secretary Northey’s visit to Red River Valley, where he saw firsthand the impacts of the wet fall and the early snowstorm. 

“This has been an unprecedented year of challenges in farm country and we’re working to do all we can to support our producers,” said Hoeven. “Sugar growers in the Red River Valley left 118,000 acres of sugarbeets unharvested – a full one third of their total acreage. Given these extraordinary circumstances, we’re urging USDA to provide disaster assistance to sugar cooperatives, along with our other producers.” 

“A tough harvest season has challenged sugarbeet growers more than anyone would have anticipated,” said Peterson. “The Under Secretary had the chance to meet with these farmers personally, and I hope that helped him see the dire situation they’re in. We’re committed to working with USDA to find a way to see they have access to help.” 

As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to secure a disaster designation from USDA for 47 North Dakota counties and to provide disaster funding through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to help cover crop losses. Peterson led the Minnesota delegation in requesting a similar designation for affected counties in that state, which is still awaiting approval at USDA.