Senate Ag Committee leaders urge swift implementation of disaster aid, farm safety net improvements

Recently, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, encouraged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement agricultural provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act in a timely, transparent and producer-friendly way.

“In order to help agriculture producers recover from recent disasters, Secretary Perdue and the Agriculture Department now have additional tools and responsibilities,” Roberts said. “We look forward to continue working closely with USDA as they implement disaster assistance and changes to permanent programs and risk management tools.”

“In the recent budget agreement, we worked together to pass legislation that provided much needed assistance for Michigan dairy farmers,” said Stabenow. “It is now up to USDA to move swiftly so our farmers can get the relief they need.”

Last month, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which included additional support for farmers and ranchers struggling to recover from natural disasters. The law also strengthened USDA’s permanent disaster assistance programs and provided enhancements to risk management tools for cotton and dairy producers. The changes included in the Bipartisan Budget Act help set the stage for Congress to write the 2018 Farm Bill.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the Senators set expectations for USDA to implement these important changes quickly and consistently with similar programs.