Hoeven: Senate Approves $10 Billion in Disaster Assistance for Ag Producers

As Ranking Member of Senate Ag Approps, Hoeven Secured Funding to Aid Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by Disasters

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate has approved $10 billion in disaster assistance, including $750 million specifically for livestock producers. As the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has been working to pass the $10 billion in assistance to help farmers and ranchers weather this year’s drought and other natural disasters.  

“We worked hard to secure this much-needed disaster assistance for our farmers and ranchers,” said Hoeven. “This $10 billion in disaster aid for producers, with $750 million specifically for livestock producers, will help our producers weather this severe drought. Our farmers and ranchers have continued to provide us with food, fuel and fiber despite the challenging weather and this is an important part of our efforts to ensure they have the support they need to keep going.”

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 costs above 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.