In the Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill, there’s an additional $1.5 billion available for disaster assistance. According to Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee Chair John Hoeven, the funds are being reprogrammed from unspent Fiscal Year 2017 disaster funding. “This is in addition to the earlier (more than) $3 billion available for the WHIP plus program. It’s important, because farmers had a tough year. They need more disaster assistance.” If the bill is approved, it would also require Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make disaster payments to eligible sugar cooperatives. “In essence, it’s a buy-up on the crop insurance, but it has to be coordinated with the cooperative so it works for the growers. Some growers could harvest and incurred lots of expenses on fields and others didn’t.” The bill authorizes the USDA to cover quality losses, in addition to production losses. It also clarifies eligible disaster events, by including losses related to excess moisture and D3 drought.
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