October 16, 2018

Disaster Aid; Climate Issues; Biofuels; Farm Bill; Ag Production Issues; and Trade

Disaster Aid

DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “The White House has promised Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln that the Obama administration will provide $1.5 billion in agriculture disaster assistance to Arkansas farmers by administrative action.

“Lincoln, D-Ark., said Thursday she agreed to let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., remove her disaster aid package from a small business bill that he was trying to get the Senate to adopt.

“‘While I firmly believe agricultural producers are rural small businesses — it was clear the Republicans pulled out all the stops to block my legislation,’ Lincoln said in a statement. ‘In exchange for pulling ag disaster from the small business bill, I have secured an agreement from both Majority Leader Reid and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and have their commitment to deliver critical agriculture disaster assistance administratively in the next two weeks.’”

Mr. Hagstrom added that, “The aid package would give producers who suffered crop losses in counties USDA declared ‘primary’ disaster areas $1.1 billion in payments. In addition, it would give $300 million to specialty crop producers, $50 million to livestock producers and $42 million to cotton seed handlers. It also earmarks $75 million for Arkansas poultry producers who took losses due to the bankruptcy of Pilgrim’s Pride and provides $20 million in aid to Hawaiian sugar producers.”