Hoeven Urges Under Secretary Northey to Provide Disaster, Trade Assistance to Agriculture Producers as Soon as Possible

Senator Also Discusses Harvest Extension for Crop Insurance, ELAP for Ranchers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week spoke with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Bill Northey to urge the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide disaster and trade assistance to producers as soon as possible. Hoeven highlighted the growing challenges facing farmers due to excessive moisture and an early snowstorm. The senator accordingly stressed the need to quickly send out the next tranche of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments as well as assistance under the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), once a Secretarial Disaster Declaration has been issued.

This comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts with the administration as well as farm groups and state leaders, including Governor Doug Burgum, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and FSA State Executive Director Brad Thykeson, to ensure the damages and losses are assessed promptly and payments are made to producers as quickly as possible. The senator spoke to Northey as a follow-up on Burgum and Goehring’s recent meetings with agriculture producers. 

In addition, Hoeven and Northey discussed producers’ need for harvest extensions under the federal crop insurance program as well as for assistance to ranchers under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to help address the impacts of recent adverse weather.

“The flooding, excessive rainfall and early snowfall have compounded the difficulties our producers are facing, which is why we’re working across all levels of government to provide assistance as soon as possible,” said Hoeven. “I spoke with Under Secretary Northey to outline the need for the FSA to send out the November MFP payments as soon as possible and make payments under WHIP+ as quickly as they can, following a Secretarial Disaster Declaration. At the same time, we discussed how farmers are dealing with a delayed harvest and need extensions on their crop insurance deadlines, while ranchers need help with acquiring feed, which FSA can help address through ELAP.” 

Hoeven previously worked as the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee Chairman to provide a second round of trade assistance through MFP and ensure that the disaster relief legislation Congress passed in May was forward-looking to provide coverage for disasters throughout 2019.

Farmers should contact their local FSA county office to learn more about disaster assistance programs, and their crop insurance agent to discuss options for a delayed harvest.