Hoeven Urges Secretary Vilsack to Send Acting RMA Administrator to Assess North Dakota Drought Conditions

Senator Thanks Secretary Vilsack for Finalizing QLA and WHIP+, Stresses Need to Send Assistance to Producers As Soon As Possible

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee today, Senator John Hoeven urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to send Acting Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Richard Flournoy to North Dakota to assess drought conditions. The senator stressed the severe losses that producers will face if conditions do not improve and the need for RMA to have firsthand knowledge of the situation in order to properly cover losses.

“Our farmers and ranchers are facing drought across North Dakota, with much of the state in the most severe categories. Producers need to know that RMA has a full understanding of the situation and will adequately cover their losses if the drought persists. Having Acting Administrator Flournoy visit the state would help provide this certainty,” said Hoeven. “This builds on the assistance we’ve secured for producers under CFAP 1 and 2, QLA and WHIP+, helping to support a strong recovery from the pandemic and address the impacts of the repeated hardships that have impacted farmers and ranchers in recent years.”

In addition, Hoeven followed up with Vilsack on the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) program and the Wildfire, Hurricane and Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), urging him to send out the recently-announced payments to producers as soon as possible. Hoeven had repeatedly urged USDA officials to finalize the programs, with producers now set to receive theirfull QLA payments and additional WHIP+ payments covering 90% of 2019 indemnities as a result. USDA will issue the payments in the coming weeks.

Prior to this, Hoeven secured funding and eligibility for the programs, including: 

  • $1.5 billion for WHIP+, along with authorization to establish the QLA program, including coverage for excess moisture and D3 drought in FY2020.
  • $1.5 billion for QLA and WHIP+ in FY 2021 Agriculture Appropriations to ensure program funding to meet the demand from producers who were impacted by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.

Producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019 were eligible to apply for QLA, which covers losses from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, wildfires, drought, and excessive moisture. Additional information on QLA and WHIP+ is available from USDA at www.farmers.gov.