Hoeven Secures Assistance for Producers' Feed Transportation Costs

Senator Worked with USDA to Expand ELAP Coverage, Continues Working to Pass $7 Billion in Drought Assistance in Ag Approps Legislation

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today secured additional drought relief for livestock producers, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to permanently expand the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program (ELAP) to now cover feed transportation costs, in addition to water transportation costs.  

Under the expanded coverage, producers will be reimbursed for 60% of feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year. Feed transportation costs incurred on January 1, 2021 or after are eligible for ELAP assistance.

Eligible locations include places where:

  • Drought intensity is D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor;
  • Drought intensity is D3 (extreme drought) or greater; or 
  • USDA has determined a shortage of local or regional feed availability.

Previously, ELAP only compensated producers for the cost of hauling water. Hoeven has been making the case to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux to expand ELAP to include coverage of feed transportation costs. This new ELAP coverage will supplement the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), which provides payments to producers for the cost of hay. 

“Our producers have faced severe challenges due to the drought this year and that includes increased feed transportation costs,” said Hoeven. “After hosting FSA Administrator Ducheneaux in North Dakota to hear directly from our farmers and ranchers, we worked with the Administrator to expand ELAP to help cover producers’ feed transportation costs. This is much needed assistance and is an important tool in helping our producers weather this drought.”   

The deadline to file an application for payment for the 2021 program year is January 31, 2022. Producers should contact their FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov/elap for more information. 

The expanded ELAP coverage is part of Hoeven’s efforts to help producers weather the severe drought conditions. Additionally the senator is working to pass:

  • $7 billion in disaster assistance in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture Appropriations legislation. The legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee at the beginning of August with:
    • $6.28 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.
  • Hoeven-Tester Livestock Disaster Relief Act to improve LFP and ELAP.
    • Increases assistance under LFP to more accurately compensate producers for forage losses.
    • Makes changes to ELAP to ensure it complements LFP by covering transportation costs for forage and water.

The Senator has also secured:

  • 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 RMA Acting Administrator Richard 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.