Senators Propose Disaster Aid

Two major Democratic committee leaders recently introduced a Senate bill that would restore expired disaster aid to farmers still suffering from the lingering effects of last year’s drought.

With the expiration of the 2007 Farm Bill and the failure of Congress to pass a new five-year farm bill, farmers across the country have found themselves in a perilous situation. While the expired bill has been temporarily extended for the next several months, many important disaster aid provisions have not been carried forward from 2011, when many of these programs first ran out of funding.

With Congress still scrambling to pass a new five-year farm bill within the next nine months, Senators Debbie Stabenow and Max Baucus, from Michigan and Montana,  have proposed a bill that would renew disaster relief until a new farm bill can be passed.

“We cannot allow farmers to be wiped out because of a few days of bad weather,” said Stabenow.

This bill would be particularly beneficial to ranchers, who do not qualify for federal crop insurance programs and have been hit hard by the recent drought. Under the proposed bill, producers would qualify for up to $100,000 for losses this year and last year.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer