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Senators Baldwin and Hoeven Urge USDA to Provide Producers with Timeline For $10 Billion in AG Disaster Assistance Payments

Leaders of Senate Ag Appropriations Secured $9.25 Billion for WHIP+, $750 Million for Livestock Producers

WASHINGTON D.C.– U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and John Hoeven today spoke with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and pressed USDA to provide producers with information on the Department’s plan and timeline for distribution of the $10 billion in disaster assistance, including $750 million specifically for livestock producers, approved by Congress in September. As the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, the senators worked to secure the disaster aid and included the funding specifically for ranchers.

“Congress provided these much needed funds to assist producers impacted by adverse weather and losses so they have what they need to get through these challenges. Senator Hoeven and I urged Secretary Vilsack to work quickly to get these funds out so producers can start planning for next year,” said Baldwin, Chair of Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee. “I also pressed the Secretary to work with OMB to get the rule out for the Dairy Margin Coverage program. Our dairy farmers continue to face major challenges and they need certainty as they plan for next year’s production season.”

“Our farmers and ranchers have been facing historic drought conditions, and they need help right now. That’s why we worked to secure this assistance and have repeatedly stressed to USDA the importance of providing aid as quickly and as effectively as possible,” said Hoeven, Ranking Member of the of Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee. “Senator Baldwin and I pressed Secretary Vilsack to provide our producers with USDA’s plan and timeline for providing this assistance, which is vital as our producers work to plan their operations.”

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.