Hoeven Secures Additional $1.5 Billion in Ag Disaster Funding

As Chair of Ag Approps, Senator Also Included Provisions to Provide Sugar Producers with Disaster Relief, Cover Quality Losses

Editor’s Note: Senator Hoeven secured the funding in the final FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations funding bill, which the House is expected to vote on tomorrow with the Senate following later this week. 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today announced that he has secured an additional $1.5 billion in disaster funding to help agriculture producers impacted by severe weather. The senator also secured a provision requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to make disaster payments to eligible sugar growers and expanded program eligibility to cover quality losses for qualifying crops.  

“We secured another $1.5 billion in disaster assistance for our farmers and ranchers in the Agriculture Appropriations bill. This funding is in addition to the $3 billion we secured earlier this year,” said Hoeven. “We also added provisions to make sure that our sugar producers are included and to help cover quality, excess moisture and drought losses, which is helpful for our farmers and ranchers. We not only have low commodity prices but unprecedented weather. The disaster assistance and advancing trade agreements will help to get our producers through this tough stretch.”

Hoeven has been working with USDA to help producers in North Dakota and across the country to recover. Specifically, Hoeven secured the following in the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill:

  • $1.5 billion in disaster assistance, which is being reprogrammed from unspent Fiscal Year 2017 disaster funding. This funding is in addition to the $3 billion in disaster funding approved earlier this year. 
  • Requiring the secretary to make disaster payments to eligible sugar cooperatives.
  • Expands loss coverage by authorizing USDA to cover quality losses, in addition to production losses. 
  • Clarifies eligible disaster events by including losses related to excess moisture and D3 drought.

As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has been working to secure additional support to help producers weather the challenges of natural disasters and trade uncertainty. Hoeven has been working to: 

  • Secure a disaster designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 47 North Dakota counties.
  • Provide disaster funding through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to help cover crop losses.
  • Secure additional Market Facilitation Program payments, which is also funded through the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, and ensure the November tranche was sent out as early as possible.
    • Hoeven ensured MFP included coverage for all Title I crops, including soybeans, wheat, corn, canola and others.