Senators Max Baucus of Montana, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Roy Blunt of Missouri recently introduced legislation that would renew expired drought and disaster protection for farmers and ranchers.
At the end of the 2011 fiscal year, federal disaster protection programs expired, leaving many farmers and ranchers across the country in the lurch. The legislation would backfill the protection, allowing farmers who have suffered from extreme weather conditions in 2012 to gain access to federal funding. These programs were not included in the mine-month farm bill extension passed at the beginning of January.
The legislation would particularly help ranchers, who are not covered by federal crop insurance programs and have little protection from the severe droughts that have swept across the country this summer.
“We cannot allow farmers to be wiped out because of a few days of bad weather,” said Sen. Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “Agriculture supports nearly one in four jobs in Michigan and 16 million jobs nationwide, and when key parts of the industry are hit this badly it impacts our whole economy. Our nation is helping families who lost everything because of weather disasters like a hurricane in the Northeast, and it is only right we also help farming families who lost everything because of weather disasters.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer