U.S. farmers and ranchers weathered several major disasters in 2018 and 2019, including wildfires, severe winter storms and major flooding. “The total economic contribution of agriculture in disaster-impacted areas is about $84 billion and 419,000 ag-related jobs,” says American Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton. Congress has yet to pass a disaster aid package, as a House-passed bill failed to advance in the Senate. Newton says federally funded disaster assistance is critical for farmers in the current economic environment. “Folks impacted by hurricanes have been rebuilding for over a year. The rebuilding process is just starting in the Midwest,” says Newton. “All of this comes on top of low commodity prices and trade headwinds.”
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