Hoeven Working to Ensure RMA Provides Certainty to Farmers & Helps Resolve Crop Insurance Disputes

Senator Secured Disaster Assistance for Farmers

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a meeting with North Dakota producers and Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Martin Barbre to ensure RMA assists crop insurance adjustors as they assess damage from recent adverse weather and help resolve disputes. Barbre’s visit comes as part of the senator’s efforts to support farmers and ranchers as they recover from natural disasters including, excessive moisture and an early snowfall. To this end, Hoeven worked to: 

  • Secure a disaster designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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 and is working with USDA to send the November tranche out quickly. 
  • Fund crop insurance, the primary risk management tool for producers. 

“We worked to fund crop insurance because farmers need the certainty it provides, which is why we’re urging the RMA to ensure insurance claims are handled properly and disputes are settled quickly,” Hoeven said. “This is especially important considering the added challenges our producers face this year from trade uncertainty and natural disasters. We are working to provide assistance under MFP and WHIP+ as soon as possible, which will help farmers maintain their operations as they recover from a delayed harvest and other impacts.”


As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Agriculture Committee, Hoeven has worked to fund the federal crop insurance program. This includes preserving the program in the 2018 Farm Bill, for which he served as a conference committee member, and funding it through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 agriculture funding bill, which he helped craft and pass through the Senate.


Hoeven is also continuing his efforts to supplement traditional risk management tools like crop insurance with trade and disaster assistance. Hoeven has been working with the administration to quickly send out the November tranche of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments as well as assistance under the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+).

To this end, Hoeven hosted Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey in North Dakota last week, so he could hear directly from local producers and see disaster impacts firsthand. On Friday, the senator secured approval for the State of North Dakota’s request for a disaster designation, which makes producers in these counties automatically eligible for WHIP+.

These efforts build on Hoeven’s work as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee to provide a second round of trade assistance through MFP payments and ensure that the disaster relief legislation Congress passed in May was forward-looking to provide coverage for disasters throughout 2019.