January 21, 2020

Policy Issues: Drought, Farm Bill, EPA, and the Budget

Policy Issues- Drought, Disaster

A news release yesterday from USDA stated that, “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today designated 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans. These are the first disaster designations made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013.”

The USDA update noted that, “The 597 primary counties designated as disaster areas today correspond to the following states: Alabama, 14; Arkansas, 47; Arizona, 4; Colorado, 30; Georgia, 92; Hawaii, 2; Kansas, 88; Oklahoma, 76; Missouri, 31; New Mexico, 19; Nevada, 9; South Carolina, 11; Texas, 157; and Utah, 17.”

In 2012, USDA designated 2,245 counties in 39 states as disaster areas due to drought, or 71 percent of the United States,” yesterday’s update said.

In an exclusive interview yesterday on the Fox News Channel “Happening Now” program, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack discussed the ongoing U.S. drought and USDA’s response to the situation.

Sec. Vilsack also spoke briefly about the crop insurance program and the Farm Bill.

A video replay of Sec. Vilsack’s interview from yesterday (about six minutes) can be found here, at Online.

For more information from USDA on the drought and drought assistance, just click here.