The Washington Insider section of DTN reported on Friday (link requires subscription) that, “USDA finally announced that it would, indeed, fund a disaster aid program for producers suffering losses on 2009 as it had promised Senate Ag Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., but the program as announced has little resemblance to the deal Lincoln thought she had.
“While welcoming the announcement, Lincoln told the press she was disappointed in the USDA version, which was less than half as large as originally requested — $630 million, down from her $1.5 billion request.
“Still, she was eager to claim credit for what funding was offered. ‘… I was able to use my influence as chairman to provide relief to farm families. In Arkansas, this program will ensure nearly 90 percent of all acres are eligible to receive assistance if they experienced a weather-related disaster. It will also help hundreds of poultry growers and fish farmers who are suffering due to circumstances beyond their control.’ The smaller total will ‘go a long way’ to help farmers. ‘This is not about a dollar figure,’ she said.”